2016 WHA Six-Shooters Session

The lineup for the 2016 Six-Shooters digital history lightning round session, sponsored by the WHA Technology Committee, featured seven presenters sharing their research, teaching, and public projects at the WHA conference in St. Paul, MN (photos by Doug Seefeldt, session chair):

  • Sarah Clayton, University of Oklahoma Libraries
  • Julie Davis, University of Minnesota
  • Mikal Eckstrom, University of Nebraska, Lincoln
  • Jeff Malcomson, Montana Historical Society
  • Rob Voss, Northwest Missouri State University
  • Chris Wells, Macalester College
  • Lindsey Passenger Wieck, University of Notre Dame
Posted in Conferences, Digital History, Six-Shooters, WHA | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Rob Voss: Developing Student DH

Hi everyone, I am Rob Voss, Assistant Professor of History and Social Science Education Coordinator at Northwest Missouri State University. In my role as professor at a moderately selective Midwestern state university, I have a full teaching load of 4/4, plus an overload class, 47 advisees, and supervision responsibilities of student teachers in the field. That said, I am fully committed to developing Digital History as part of what we do as historians, yet my ability to commit to large scale projects is limited. Despite the limitations, there are smaller scale DH projects that are accessible to most undergraduates. In my time as a graduate student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, I was part of the first digital history class offered and worked on the Railroads Project and Civil War Washington in various capacities.

As part of my Six Shooters presentation, I will talk about how I have used my role as professor over the last three years to develop student DH projects with a focus on bringing scalable projects to high school classrooms. Student exposure to DH at a high school level will allow for further development at the undergraduate level. I have had my first set of student teachers enter the job market with DH on their resumes and will present on some of their experiences with high school students.

Posted in Six-Shooters | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Julie Davis: Indigenous Food Wisdom Repository

Hi all, I’m Julie Davis, a public historian and digital project manager currently working as a Project Coordinator for the Research for Indigenous Community Health (RICH) Center at the University of Minnesota. In this position, I’m directing the development of an open-access, multimedia, online repository for Indigenous “food wisdom” — knowledge and expertise that foster health and well-being in Indigenous communities through relationships to food. The repository will integrate multidisciplinary, multimodal forms of knowledge and expertise, including academic scholarship, applied research, clinical practice, community-based knowledge, and grassroots projects. Its purpose is to share information and cultivate connections among those engaged in Indigenous food research and health practice, the revitalization of Native food systems, and the practice of Indigenous food sovereignty.

The repository likely will be built as a content management system (CMS); we haven’t chosen a platform yet, though Drupal currently is the strongest contender. The tagged, searchable content will include text, photographs, artwork, and audio and video files. We’ll also develop maps and other visualizations to help users see patterns and discover connections within the content. The repository will be designed for maximum flexibility, accessibility, and relevance for those working in and with Indigenous communities.

 

Posted in Six-Shooters | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Mikal Eckstrom: Textual Analysis of American Indian and American Jewish data sets

My name is Mikal Eckstrom, a Ph.D. candidate at University of Nebraska-Lincoln. This fall, I am teaching an undergraduate course, History of the US Present. This course historicizes modern problems, but one that also allows students to use digital recorders and online discussion boards to produce original research. My personal research, “Marginalized Tribes: Shared Experiences of Jews and Native Americans in the Trans-Missouri West, 1850-1935,” explores Jewish encounters with American Indians in the context of white settlement in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, and North and South Dakota. The project relies on settler colonial, whiteness, and computational analysis as its primary methodologies.

For this lightning round, I will share some of my initial findings from my American Indian and American Jewish data sets. I am using textual analysis (statistical package R+ and MALLET [Machine Learning for LanguagE ToolkiT]) and topic modeling to discern gendered pressures unique to the Jewish and American Indian experiences during the peak period of American Indian and non-native allotment in the west. Initial findings show how both groups remembered the same time differently. Finally, I will discuss the responsibilities of working with indigenous histories in the digital humanities and why close reading is still crucial to our craft.

Posted in Six-Shooters | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Jeff Malcomson: ExploreBig: The Struggle to Develop a Mobile App for Montana History

I am pleased to have the opportunity to present in the 2016 Six-Shooters session. I am a public historian with nearly 20 years of experience as an archivist in the West. Since 2005 I’ve worked at the Montana Historical Society (MHS) Research Center where I currently serve as the Senior Photograph Archivist. I created the Society’s first blog several years ago (Montana History Revealed, which is still going strong) and have served on the very active MHS Social Media Committee. Throughout my career I’ve actively sought ways to explore and test new tools in the digital humanities. In recent years I’ve become a fairly active editor of Wikipedia articles in Montana and Western history topics, organizing edit-a-thons and trying to improve this popular platform’s presentation of history.

For my Six-Shooters presentation I’ll talk about our experience at MHS over the past two years trying to develop a mobile app for Montana history. The end result, ExploreBig, is finally coming into its own as a tool for sharing the stories of Montana’s most historic places and buildings. We ended up using the Omeka-based Curatescape to build our website and mobile app, but the path to this product was fairly unique. I hope this harrowing story of high elective office, high-tech education, lowly bureaucratic squabbling, and low budget difficulties may serve to help others avoid similar problems in the future.

Posted in Six-Shooters | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Lindsey Passenger Wieck: El Tecolote, A Bilingual Neighborhood Newspaper and Community Building

Hello! I’m Lindsey Passenger Wieck, and this year I’m a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Notre Dame (where I finished my Ph.D. earlier this year). This fall, I’m teaching an undergraduate course on the History of San Francisco that emphasizes digital writing and using DH tools. In 2017, I’m excited to work on some projects with our library’s Center for Digital Scholarship to help spread access to the digital humanities at our university. My manuscript, The Mission Impossible: The Cultural Politics of Community and Gentrification in Postwar San Francisco, explores Latino community formation in the Mission District of San Francisco and examines how this creates a space for gentrification. More broadly, I’m interested in the urban and spatial history, especially in the U.S. West.

At the Six-Shooters session, I’ll be talking a bit more about one of the digital components of my manuscript project. Using issues of El Tecolote, a bilingual community newspaper from the San Francisco  Mission District, I show how this newspaper served as tool for community building – for mobilizing residents in the neighborhood, for connecting them to resources and events, for promoting activism, and for warning the Mission’s inhabitants of unsafe spaces. During this panel, I’ll discuss how I conceptualized this mapping project and what I view as the next steps for it to delve deeper into this rich source base.

Posted in Six-Shooters | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Chris Wells: Minnesota Environments

I am an associate professor of environmental history at Macalester College, where I direct the school’s Andrew Mellon Foundation-sponsored Digital Liberal Arts initiative. My research focuses on the ways that technology–and especially technological systems–have reshaped the American environment, mediating and structuring people’s relationships with the natural world.

For this lightning round, I will discuss Minnesota Environments, a smartphone app and accompanying website developed in collaboration with George Vrtis (Carleton College). Based on the Omeka CMS and its Curatescape plugin, the resulting project allowed students to research and publish material on Minnesota’s environmental history that users can explore from a smartphone, tablet, or computer.

Posted in Six-Shooters | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Sarah Clayton: Making Modern America: Discovering the Great Depression and New Deal

Hello! I’m a Digital Scholarship Specialist at the University of Oklahoma Libraries, where I support faculty and students interested in working on any component of digital scholarship from finding resources, to using and selecting tools for analysis, and finally to sharing their work. I’m very excited to be participating in the Six Shooters Session.

During the session, I’ll be presenting on the Making of Modern America: Discovering the Great Depression and New Deal. This project was the vision of Dr. David Wrobel and Dr. Keith Gaddie and realized through a close collaboration with OU Libraries. The goal was for students to not only learn about the 1930s but also become creators of new knowledge through undertaking original research projects centered around their local communities and sharing their findings in online exhibits complete with archival and modern photographs, documents, videos, interactive maps, and text. To accomplish this, I, along with other librarians, facilitated weekly workshops instructing the students on how to perform archival and field research, conduct oral histories, create interactive maps, and use Omeka to create online exhibits. Currently, we have eleven exhibits available online: five focused on New Deal funded construction projects in central Oklahoma and six recreating driving tours from Oklahoma: A Guide to the Sooner State originally published in 1941. While the students’ final projects were impressive, I was especially struck by how the digital projects enriched their educational experiences and engagement with the course material and our wonderful special collections. We are hoping to repeat a version of this course and expand the website in the future.

Posted in Six-Shooters | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Lineup for WHA 2016 Six-Shooters Session

Here is a list of the presenters that we have confirmed for the Technology Committee sponsored session, “Six-Shooters: A Digital Frontiers Lightning Round”:

  • Sarah Clayton, University of Oklahoma Libraries
  • Julie Davis, University of Minnesota
  • Mikal Eckstrom, University of Nebraska, Lincoln
  • Jeff Malcomson, Montana Historical Society
  • Rob Voss, Northwest Missouri State University
  • Chris Wells, Macalester College
  • Lindsey Passenger Wieck, University of Notre Dame

The session will be chaired by Douglas Seefeldt, Ball State University, and is scheduled for Sunday, October 23rd from 8:30-10:00 AM in Governors III of the InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront, St. Paul, Minnesota. Please check this website in the days leading up to the conference for introductions by each presenter and brief descriptions of the work they plan to present.

Posted in Conferences, Digital History, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

A View into the 2015 Six-Shooters Digital History Session

The lineup for the 2015 Six-Shooters digital history lightning round session, sponsored by the WHA Technology Committee, featured six presenters sharing their research, teaching, and public projects (photos by Doug Seefeldt, session chair):

Posted in Conferences, Six-Shooters, WHA | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment