Cameron Blevins, The Postal West

I am a digital historian studying the nineteenth-century United States and the American West. My current position is Andrew W. Mellon post-doctoral fellow at Rutgers University’s history department and the Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis. Before this, I received my Ph.D. from Stanford University, where I worked at the Spatial History Project and Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (CESTA).Some of my broader interests include geography, communications, gender history, and information visualization.

At the six shooters session I’ll be giving an overview of my research project, “The Postal West,” which tells a spatial history of the role of the U.S. Post in the integration of the American West. Digital analysis has bee a key part of this project, including building an interactive map with Jason Heppler, Jocelyn Hickox, and Tara Balakrishnan that visualizes the opening and closing of more than 14,000 post offices across the western United States. Rather than focus on the digital methods themselves, however, I’d like to try and convey the big interpretive results and arguments that I’ve made using these kinds of tools.

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