Introduction: Karly Lainhart

Hi everyone! My name is Karly Lainhart, and I’m a first-year graduate student in American University’s Public History program. I’m a native Kentuckian and received my B.A. in History from Eastern Kentucky University before beginning this program. At Eastern, I found my way into the university’s Special Collections & Archives and gained a bit of work experience in the archival world. While a lot of it entailed sorting through and filing collections of family papers, I was also able to familiarize myself with collections publishing and had the opportunity to contribute to a digital project (Madison’s Heritage Online) through the publishing platform Omeka. 

In terms of research interests, I’ve always gravitated toward social histories—particularly those that relate to women and gender, the environment, and animal rights. My undergraduate thesis, for example, analyzed the efficacy and longevity of several major institutions of the contemporary U.S. animal rights movement. In this course, I’m particularly excited about the prospect of learning how to employ digital tools to further delve into one or more of these topics.

So far in the Public History program, I’ve really enjoyed learning more about practical applications of history beyond academia. The field of public history offers a unique opportunity to break down some of the barriers constructed by the academy, which is something that drew me to this program in particular. Likewise, I think digital history can exist as a more democratic source of scholarly history—and I’m excited to learn more about it this semester!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *