Monuments and Commemoration

John Bodnar’s Remaking America: Public Memory, Commemoration, and Patriotism in the Twentieth Century and Kirk Savage’s Monument Wars: Washington, DC, the National Mall, and the Transformation of the Memorial Landscape both take on the tasks of discussing the ways in which public memory shapes Americans’ commemoration of wars and significant national events. Bodnar seeks to focus on … [Read more]

Battlefields and Massacre Sites

This week’s readings focused on places of conflict, namely, battlefields and massacre sites. Edward Linenthal’s Sacred Ground: Americans and Their Battlefields utilizes a case study approach to examine Lexington and Concord, the Alamo, Gettysburg, Little Bighorn, and Pearl Harbor. His book “is about the process of veneration, defilement, and redefinition that have characterized public attitudes towards America’s most famous … [Read more]

Competing Memories of Slavery

This week, David Blight’s Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory was paired with Slavery and Public History: The Tough Stuff of American Memory, edited by James Horton and Lois Horton. Blight examines the relationship between race and reunion in America during Reconstruction and the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. He is particularly interested in dissecting the oppositional … [Read more]

How Power Constructs Silences

In Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History, Michel-Rolph Trouillot critiques the ways in which history has been constructed by those who tell it. Trouillot writes that his book “is about history and power” and “deals with the many ways in which the production of historical narratives involves the uneven contribution of competing groups and … [Read more]

Public History as a Public Service

In Museums, Monuments, and National Parks: Toward a New Genealogy of Public History, Denise Meringolo responds to the efforts of public historians and academics to define public history. She uses the establishment of the National Park Service as a lens through which to argue that public history did not emerge in the 1970s but rather was a movement that began … [Read more]

The Foundations of Public History

The readings for the first week of class focused on the establishment of public history as a methodology, debates surrounding what constitutes public history, the roles and professions of public historians, debates over the definition of “public” and the various ways public historians must engage with that public, the contributions of public history to the … [Read more]

The Claws Come Out: The Syuzhet Debates

This week’s readings on big history and humanities computing were both informative and fun, as I enjoy watching scholars critique each other and, sometimes, get catty. The syuzhet debates read something like this: 1) Jockers introduces syuzhet, a package for R that studies plot shifts through sentiment analysis. In the first two blog posts, he … [Read more]

Visual Information and My Blog?

As I grappled this week with the readings on visualization, I started to think more about my blog and the portfolio component of our final exam for this course. The more I dwell on it, the more I realize that these two things do not go hand in hand. Visualization is about displaying information visually, and … [Read more]

In Which I Honestly Assess Myself

So this is the blog post where I admit that I am finding this course to be more and more challenging. As we started out defining the field and then discussing the state of DH, whether that be public history, digital scholarship, etc., I was feeling very good about the readings and discussion. I found … [Read more]

Text Analysis… So What?

Tim Hitchcock’s “Big Data for Dead People” elucidates a problem I encountered when first introduced to text analysis and continued to grapple with while working on my Clio 1 project. Hitchcock notes that “distant reading seems to tell us what we already know.” For my Clio 1 project, I used Voyant to analyze twentieth century Supreme Court … [Read more]