I’d like to reach a point in my writing where I feel like I can be vulnerable, and I figure this is as good of place as any to do that. I have a confession: I hate when other people read my writing. I love presenting projects, but showing someone my written work is scary. So, here it is for all to see, judge, and hopefully enjoy. This kind of vulnerability is what I am hoping to get out of our course this spring. In addition to learning about digital history methods, I want to learn about myself as a scholar, writer, and historian.
Before I get too far ahead of myself, I should probably share a little bit about me. My name is Ava Griswold and I am in my first year of the general history M.A. program at American University. I earned my undergraduate degree in history and French at a small historically women’s college called St. Catherine University in my home state of Minnesota. I’ve worked with a variety of historical topics, most of my major papers and projects have focused on the unique experiences of women. I have a particular affinity to studying 19th century American women. Some of my favorite topics include women in the early suffrage movement, women and new religions, and how women have taken on leadership roles. If you’re really curious on what all I’ve done in the past, just look at my LinkedIn.
What are you going to do with that? I get asked this question often by my friends and family and strangers who find out I’m getting a master’s degree. Well, I’ll tell you (and perhaps refer others to this post so I can stop repeating myself at every holiday gathering). My ultimate goal is to write a book, maybe several books. I want to be a published scholar, and expert in my field, a true historian. This means that I will be needing a PhD in history, which also means I will likely be working in some kind of academic setting (hopefully incorporating some of the skills and technologies from this course). After I finish my master’s degree I will take a year or two off from school to work and apply to PhD programs (it’s also nice to just have a break). I don’t know exactly what I’ll do after my PhD, but hope that I can work in some kind of research capacity. Oh, and write that book I mentioned.
Let’s return to the idea of vulnerability. I’d like to expand upon this and add the idea of authenticity , which goes hand in hand with being vulnerable . I think both of these traits are necessary for us as scholars and people to have. Share your work the way you want to. Use your own voice and use it with confidence. This is your formal invitation to be vulnerable and authentic with your posts on this blog and beyond. We all are finding our voice and our passions and I encourage you to be gentle with yourself and others in this period of exploration. I look forward to learning more about each one of you and hope we can take advantage of this online community to work towards becoming the kind of scholars we want to be.