After a hiatus for the holiday break, EdWired is back.
I spent last weekend in Philadelphia at the American Historical Association’s annual conference. Most of the time I was locked in a hotel room interviewing candidates for a European history position at GMU, but I did manage to get out long enough to chair a panel on GIS in history. This panel, organized by Carol Keller at San Antonio College, on GIS in the Humanities.
This was one of the most interesting panels I’ve attended at the AHA in years and to my mind points to one of the two most important emerging trends in the use of technology in historical research and teaching. If you take a minute to peruse the San Antonio College website, you’ll quickly see some of the many possible applications of GIS in history. The interface for their project is a little clunky, but they only had a small NEH grant to pay for it. Overlook the clunkiness and you’ll be able to imagine a number of ways GIS can be ported into your own research or teaching.
We have now begun using GIS in our collecting history projects–the September 11 Digital Archive and the Hurricane Digital Memory Bank. Using the Google API we now make it possible for visitors to these archives to geo-locate the stories, images, etc., that they find in these archives. Imagine what this would be like if, for instance, every image in the Library of Congress’s American Memory Project was similarly tagged?
On a sadder note (for me), only one of the nine candidates we interviewed at the AHA even asked about the work we are doing in digital history at GMU. This stands in contrast to the candidates for our search in US history–all of whom asked about it (or some I’m told). European historians have a long, long way to go when it comes to digital history as compared to our Americanist colleagues. Sigh…
4 thoughts on “New Media at the AHA”
Maybe it’s just because I’m an Americanist, but I’ve also noticed a disparity with Otherists in regard to digital history. My department recently commissioned me to compile a list of history resources online, and it’s definitely weighted heavily towards American history. Is this just because of my oversight or limited sight? Or do you get the sense that there really is less interest among Europeanists in digitization? (By the way, if you know of European history sites that I should be including on this list that I’m not, please let me know.) I’m a newcomer to your blog but am enjoying it!
Oh, and the list can be found at …
Thanks for the comment. As you prepare that list of history resources online, you should take a look at our History Matters site which has a list of more than 800 reviewed web resources in American history and World History Matters which has a database of 200 reviewed websites in non-American history. Finally, our Women in World History project has a similar database with another 28 reviews of websites specific to women in world history. You can get all these at http://chnm.gmu.edu.
Thanks for the tips! I have the CHNM homepage included, but I should probably mine its internal pages for links.
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