Introduction – Callie Hopkins

Hello all! My name is Callie Hopkins, and I’m a first-year MA student in the public history program. I graduated from Grinnell College (in the remote wilds of central Iowa) in 2014 with a double major in history and English, and I’ve been living in the DC area ever since. In between undergrad and the start of graduate school, I was an intern at the Civil War Trust for 8 months and then worked in Visitor Services at the National Geographic Museum for two years. At the moment, I’m a fellow at the National Coalition for History.

My research interests tend more toward the nineteenth century United States than anything else, but I’m interested in everything and try to remain a generalist as much as possible. One of the things I love the most about public history is that, done well, it can engage a public audience with a part of history they never thought they’d care about. I like to remain as open as possible to those kinds of revelations, both as a consumer of historical writing and projects and as someone who hopes to pursue a career in museum content writing.

I’ve worked with websites in a few of my past jobs, but mostly in pretty conventional ways: writing articles, sending email newsletters, a little basic HTML, that sort of thing. I’m excited to learn more in this class about the variety of digital tools I can use as a public historian. Also, to be honest, I’ve seen some very lackluster online exhibits, and I’ve yet to be convinced that they can have anywhere near the impact of an in-person exhibit experience. I’m hoping to be proved wrong by the end of the semester.

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