Defining Digital History – Odds

Hello! I’m going to spend the next few paragraphs unpacking the odd readings due for next week. I’d love to hear your feedback, and cannot wait to discuss in class next Wednesday!

Natalia Cecire takes on a large question in “Theory and the Virtues of Digital Humanities.” Cecuire poses that the question of theory, “is a question about the place of digital humanities in a set of disciplines that have continually wrestled with the status of the word in the production of knowledge” (np). In this introduction, she goes on to look at several aspects of this: the epistemologies of doing, epistemological claims as ethical claims, ethical claims as normative claims, and so on, building each section.

The History Manifesto by Jo Guldi and David Armitage reads as a call to action for historians and readers alike on the crises of the humanities. The authors contend with short-term versus long-term thinking and the changes the field has experienced. In Chapter 4, the increasing availability of digitized knowledge is discussed. With the breadth of digitized knowledge, historians are now able to sift through and synthesize accessible information than before. This raises a few questions posed by the authors: how then should we think about the past and the future? How will this continue to change universities?

This article by Rebecca Onion titled “Snapshots of History” was an interesting read. She criticizes Twitter accounts that post historical images which either lack context or are fake. With depriving viewers of the context and plastering similar images over and over, Onion writes that she believes it viewers do not get the joy of the historical rabbit hole or learn from the posts. How do we as pubic historians think that these accounts effect the public consumption of historical knowledge?

In the blog post, “Getting Started in the Digital Humanities”, we change gears slightly from the previous readings. Rather than defining digital history, Spiro aims to help readers DO digital history. They offer tips on how to get involved with digital humanities and the DH community, how to find collaborators and even learn best practice. However, these readings have left me with a question I’d like the class to discuss: what IS the definition of digital history? Is there one specific definition or does it move more fluidly?

Intro – Ellie McMillan

Hi everyone! My name is Ellie McMillan and I’m a second year in the Public History MA program. I currently intern at the White House Historical Association and have been there since Fall 2019. I went to Arizona State University and got my BA in History with two minors: Art History and French, but am originally from Wisconsin. Graduation is quickly approaching and I am getting increasingly nervous to enter the field at such an uncertain time!

I have always known I wanted to work with history. The first real experience I had working in a museum was during my sophomore year of college, where I interned at the Heard Museum, which is a museum in Phoenix, Arizona that focuses on American Indian art, culture, and history.

Me at the Wharf 🙂

My research interests mostly focus on marginalized groups and bringing their history to the forefront. Last semester in research seminar, I researched and wrote on gender in two American Indian boarding schools during the 20th century. Last year in practicum, my group created an exhibit on the history of African Liberation Day in DC and partnered with a local organization. I believe that my work as a public historian is to help tell stories untold and to increase accessibility to learn those stories.

I’m looking forward to continuing to get to know you all this semester 🙂