When people hear that I’ve lived in five different states and another country, they may assume I’m part of the military or that my family is, but that was never the case for myself or my family. My father would tell me that it was because we had “wonderlust” in our veins– we could never stay put in one location for too long. After all, the world is vast and there is just so much to see and learn and do.
I begin with this part of my story because it has shaped who I am and has given me a vastly diverse background in my interests. From the highlands of Scotland to the deserts of New Mexico to Yellowstone National Park to the foundations of U.S. History in Jamestown, Virginia (and much more), I’ve had a taste of this “wonderlust” and it has lead me to Washington D.C. Throughout the various locations I’ve lived in, I became fascinated with the local history and how it transformed and reshaped how I had understood history. Because of this, my current obsessions lay in Native American Studies, Women’s Studies, twentieth-century history, art history, environmental history, and material culture.
As a first year Public History Master’s student at American University, I’ve sought to hone in on my background, be able to work on a variety of public history skills, and experiment with ideas and thoughts. I feel like a mad chemist at times with how wild my combinations are at times, but D.C. is my playground.
I have been fortunate enough to land internships and volunteer experiences in these places I’ve been and I have developed some digital skills because of these experiences. I’ve worked with social media for several organizations and helped create digital databases and archives, but that has been the extent of my digital skills. One of my biggest goals for this class is learn how to combine these skills into a historical space.
In this class, I want to focus on building on my digital history skills and learn how I can use them in the future in the public history field. I truly believe that in a post-pandemic world, the digital landscape will become a highly desired platform to tell stories, but even more so how we can combine them in the physical spaces of the public history world. There are just endless possibilities to how the digital world can intersect with the public history and I want to understand how I can combine the two successfully for my future endeavors. So, I’m approaching this class in a general form to build these skills.