Greetings All. I’m Christian Paul Pennanen, a 2nd year general history MA student. I tend to focus, topically on military history and the public perception of military affairs, and geographically on Europe between the Rhine and Urals. That said, I’m always happy to push at the edges of those spheres; I’m currently listening to the audiobook version of The Bloody White Baron, which is about a Baltic German officer in the Tsarist Army who, during the Russian Civil War, decided he was Genghis Khan reborn, and took over Mongolia. AU was also where I got my BA (also in History, with a minor in international relations). I’m a DC native, and I’d be happy to answer questions or give suggestions to those new to the city, though I make no promises that I’ll be useful; I’m very much the sort of person who’d rather stay home and read, or watch anime or play pen and paper RPGs with friends, rather than going out.
I’d like to think I’ve got more computer skills than the average person, but evidence (and a series of dead laptops) suggests that I know just enough to be dangerous. This is probably, at least in part, a product of the somewhat slap-dash nature of my education in the field, which has mostly come from attempts to get various video games (and mods) to work properly, supplemented by osmosis from some more technically competent friends and youtube channels.
My exposure to digital history has also been somewhat informal, and focused on hobbyists more than professionals. For example, I am a regular on AlternateHistory.com, a website focused on historical counterfactuals. I look forward to seeing how the field is handled by professionals; I think the only thing more important than bringing technology into our lives now, is bringing more of it in tomorrow! Given that, it will likely not come as much of a surprise to find out that I’m a supporter of the intellectual movements called Transhumanism and Singularitarianism. My main hope for this course is to bring together my enthusiasm for technology and for history.