Hello, everyone! I’m Shaan Budhwani, and I’m in my second semester of the Public History MA program. I’m originally from Houston, Texas, where I did my undergrad at the University of Houston, but I’m really excited to be here in DC! My schoolwork has been all over the place; I’ve written historiographical papers on Islamic Spain and Muslims in the United States, as well as done an oral history project on Norse pagans in Houston. I also taught geography for two years back home, as well! For my personal interests, I enjoy reading and writing. (Fiction, that is. The thousands of pages of readings from classes, maybe a little less.) I also like video games and love traveling, so this pandemic has been good for one, less so for the other.
I’m really excited for the public history program, and I liked where my first semester went! I’m primarily interested in archival studies, and my eventual career goal is to work in either an archive, but I always like to keep my options open, and I’d be just as happy in a museum, the National Park Service, or wherever else I end up. Here at American, I hope to refine my public history skills, especially with archival skills. Being in DC, with all the museums and archives, was also very important to me to connect with the world of public history. Learning how to make those connections is probably just as important as what we actually learn in the classes.
I’m very interested to see what’s in store for us in this class, as well. Already, some of the tools like Historypin look really interesting and useful! I’m particularly interested in digital archival, as these kinds of online archives have been a lifesaver in online learning. I’m also interested in interactive digital history, like video games, and how we might be able to use these to get people more engaged in history. I’m looking forward to our big project, since I’ve always learned best by doing, and already have lots of ideas in my head. Here’s to a great semester!