2017 WHA Six-Shooters Session

The 2017 Six-Shooters digital history lightning round session, sponsored by the WHA Technology Committee, featured nine presenters sharing their research, teaching, and public projects at the WHA conference in San Diego, CA (photos by Doug Seefeldt, session chair):

  • Adam Arenson, Manhattan College
  • Jared Eberle, Oklahoma State University
  • Jason Heppler, University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • Jessica Kim, California State University, Northridge
  • Chris Repka, St. Mary’s University
  • Douglas Seefeldt, Ball State University
  • Jay Taylor, Simon Fraser University
  • Bryan Winston, St. Louis University
  • Linnea Zeiner, San Diego State University
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Doug Seefeldt: “The Last of the Mohicans Realized in London”: Visualizing the Wild West in Britain, 1887-88

In 1887, William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody embarked for England on his first international tour. During the original London run of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West–coinciding with the celebration of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee–the Wild West routinely played to more than twenty thousand people in fourteen performances a week. It was the subject of nonstop coverage in the London press and enthralled the country’s political and cultural elites. Over two million visitors witnessed the spectacle, and millions more read about it.

This digital research project uses topic modeling and text analysis tools to analyze popular representations of the American West published in London prior to the arrival of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West in 1887. It visualizes how these widely-read texts shaped and reflected conceptions of the American West among the British reading public and compares these visualizations to textual analyses of promotional material generated by Cody’s marketing team as well to commentary on the performances in British periodicals and newspapers.

Preliminary findings suggest that while Cody was depicted as the “Last of the Mohicans” in the Illustrated Penny Press upon his arrival in England–a representation that conflated early and late-nineteenth-century American frontier experiences–he departed having conveyed to his imperial-era British audience a new sense of the American West as the locus of a distinctive crucible of civilization-building in an increasingly globalized age.

Lineup for 2017 Six-Shooters Session

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

  • Adam Arenson, Manhattan College
  • Jared Eberle, Oklahoma State University
  • Jason Heppler, University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • Jessica Kim, California State University, Northridge
  • Chris Repka, St. Mary’s University
  • Douglas Seefeldt, Ball State University
  • Jay Taylor, Simon Fraser University
  • Bryan Winston, St. Louis University
  • Linnea Zeiner, San Diego State University

The session will be chaired by Douglas Seefeldt, Ball State University, and is scheduled for Thursday, November 2nd from 1:30-3:00 PM in the Monte Carlo room of the Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa, San Diego, California. Each presenter has six minutes and six slides (“Six-Shooters,” get it?) for their presentation. All presenters will entertain questions from the audience at the conclusion of all of the presentations. We encourage what may seem like “basic” questions as well as “shop talk” from those in attendance.

Please check this website in the days leading up to the conference for posts by each presenter introducing themselves and providing brief descriptions of the work they plan to present.

2016 WHA Six-Shooters Session

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

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.

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):

Virtual Buffalo Bill’s Wild West

My colleague James Connolly and I, working with staff from the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, and artists and designers from Ball State’s Institute for Digital Intermedia Arts (IDIA), have crafted a computer-generated world that authentically simulates the Wild West show dramatizing frontier life. Virtual Buffalo Bill’s Wild West is a multiplayer virtual world that simulates Buffalo Bill Wild West Show circa 1899. The project serves as a prototype for developing and testing various designs and configurations that integrate a 3D environment and a web-based digital archive. This digital history project is built in Unity 3D using custom software created by IDIA Lab. The archive employs the Collective Access content management system, using VRA Core standards.

This collection contains source materials for the three-dimensional recreation of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West and Congress of Rough Riders of the World, a traveling exhibition that toured North America and Europe between 1883 and 1908. This enormously popular show presented to its audiences a recreation of life in the Old West, complete with spectacular displays of riding and shooting, as well as performances by “rough riders” from around the world. In addition to materials used as the basis for the design of the virtual world, this archive contains primary sources that provide historical context for understanding the Wild West show, its role in creating popular images of the Old West, the social history of the era.