Ok, that could be a deeply metaphysical question about life, the universe, and everything, and the answer “42” really is just a joke.
What I’m asking for more immediately is how or why each of us came to this class, ACS6802/HIST6800. We all had choices, after all, in that for grad students at BGSU, there are many classes on offer this semester, and for me, there are certainly many courses that I enjoyed and could teach again (here are a few).
For me, this is the second time I’ve taught this course. I come at this from a few directions. First off, trained as an historian and for the last seven or so years dually appointed in History and American Culture Studies, I’m a humanist. I still do what we might call more traditional history, have done interdisciplinary work on contemporary memory, read literature and poetry, listen to music, and am curious about the human condition.
Second, I’ve always had some interest in computers and technology, having had an original Mac (points to any of who were actually alive when that came out, and more to those who remember seeing the commercial on TV). After college, I had a couple of jobs that involved a lot of work with databases. For my dissertation and first book research, I built a few massive spreadsheets and some databases of my own, even designing one to serve as bibliographic management software (think Zotero, Endnote, Refworks, Mendeley, etc.) does today. For my second book, I also used some digital methods to analyze political speeches. I’ve attended a couple of DH seminars (DHSI and the predecessor of HILT), I’ve been involved in a couple of DH projects, including one that’s ongoing, as well as some small DH initiatives at BGSU. I’ve incorporated DH into a lot of my pedagogy. In other words, I’m not a big player in DH, but have continued to keep up and participate in the field. And I’m always excited to share what I know and to explore it with others.
What brings you here?