Introductions

Comment below introducing yourself to the course.

  • What are your interests and your career goals, and what do you hope to get out of the course?
  • What history-related skills (research, writing, analysis, historiography, etc) do you feel you do well, and what history skills would you like to improve on?
  • What digital skills (searching, using databases, learning new software, organizing files, watching cat videos, etc) do you feel you do well, and what digital skills would you like to improve on?

ETA: You do NOT need to use your real name to comment unless you choose to.  If you use your Albany email to comment, I’ll be able to recognize you and we’ll talk about usernames in class.

10 thoughts on “Introductions

  • January 21, 2016 at 2:00 pm
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    Hello all, I am Eric Morgenson a second year PhD student studying American Jewish history. For my dissertation I am researching the question of why American Jews overreacted to perceived antisemitism in African American civil rights organizations in the mid to late 1960s. I would like to teach and be an academic, but I do also have an interest in exposing the general public to history both in the context of museums, and in more non-traditional ways such as the internet. I enjoy historiography more than some of my fellow grad students do, and I always enjoy putting scholars into the context of their conversations with one another. I would like to improve my analysis. I am getting into my dissertation and while I have been finding information, putting it all together and analyzing that information will be key to answering my question. I have family basic digital history skills. Through a process of trial and error I have gotten pretty good at finding interesting and obsecure information in databases such as ProQuest. I have also mastered the art of watching YouTube videos when I should be doing research. In this class I hope to become better at quantitative history. Jewish history in general is a fairly conservative field methodologically, and I think that taking a digital history class will allow me to expand the field in new and interesting ways.

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    • January 23, 2016 at 6:29 pm
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      I’m on the anti-historiography boat, though it is an important skill to have (as is the art of watching cat videos!). Do you know of any quantitative projects in your field or adjacent fields? We’ll talk about this project: http://blog.quantifyingkissinger.com/ late in the semester, and it might be worth poking around to get a sense of what others in your period are doing with massive amounts of text.

      Reply
  • January 26, 2016 at 1:00 am
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    Hello! My name is Rebecca Kurtz, and I am a second year graduate student in the public history program. I have worked as a docent and historical interpreter at several museums, including the Shaker Museum| Mount Lebanon, Historic Cherry Hill, and Schuyler Mansion State Historic Site. If it paid a livable wage, my career goal would be to be a docent at historic house museums giving tour after tour for the rest of my life. However, since that is not necessarily a realistic goal, I would like to focus on working in educational outreach for museums. I am taking this course because I would like to become savvy in a form of public history that is more accessible to those who are interested, and because I was told by those who took this class last year that it was “the most important” class they took for working in the public history field. I really enjoy doing research by reading historical documents, such as letters and receipts, and piecing together the information they contain to create anecdotal tours and interpretive programming. I also enjoy writing, and got to do a bit of it while creating and maintaining a blog chronicling Schuyler Mansion’s restoration project: http://schuylermansionrestoration.blogspot.com/ . Despite the fact that I enjoy writing, I really do not like writing historiography papers. However, I do like reading them. In regards to digital skills, I am capable but unimpressive. I often utilize databases such as JSTOR and soundcloud, and excel at watching cat videos by watching them with my cats. I would like to become proficient in creating website and digital media that can be utilized by museums and other historical institutions to disseminate information so that it can be consumed by those who may not be able to physically visit historic sites.

    Reply
    • January 26, 2016 at 1:11 pm
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      Very excited to have you in class, I’m looking forward to hearing more about your work at the local museums and especially the Schuyler mansion blog.

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  • January 26, 2016 at 4:10 am
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    Hello everyone! I’m Alicia Sansone and this is my first semester in the Public History Graduate program. I recently graduated from the History program at Plattsburgh, where I interned in the Art Museum as an assistant to the collections manager. While there, I got the chance to help digitize a collection of artist renderings for stained glass windows so they could be added to the Museum’s online database, which was a new experiment at the time. Though a very small collection compared to other universities, my experience in the internship only solidified my desire to be able to develop a lifelong career in the museum field. skills that I believe I bring to the program are directly a result of my experience in undergrad work. At Plattsburgh, History students had to undergo a rigorous writing core program. Over the course of several classes, I was able to efficiently use research that culminated in a final paper. Through this experience, I feel I have become more skilled in forming a cohesive argument rather than a historical narrative based on simply names and dates. My personal favorite fields of interest are Cultural and Women’s history,particularly American, but I’m using my opportunity in Graduate work to delve more into European topics. In the future I hope to become a curator or historical consultant. Within this course, I’m most looking forward to utilizing technologies that will improve the way museums and collections interpret history and the experiences of different groups. Though I feel that at times technology hinders our relationship with the world around us, I think museums or collections can benefit from new innovations. I also believe that technology is vital getting younger generations interested and mindful of the past.

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    • January 26, 2016 at 1:14 pm
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      It would be great if you shared some of your experience with the digitization project with us this semester–we’re going to have a skype conversation with one of the project coordinators for the NY Public Library’s digitization project in a few weeks, but those projects are always so unique it would be good to hear about the work you did.

      Reply
  • January 26, 2016 at 4:59 pm
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    Hello my name is John Cassidy and this is my second semester as a history graduate student. I graduated in May 2014 from University at Buffalo with a degree in history. The areas of history I have spent the majority of time studying are 19th and 20th century US and European history specifically economic and military history. I signed up for the course because I feel that I could use a refresher on online research as my previous run through of online resources was given several years ago at a different university.

    Reply
  • January 26, 2016 at 5:02 pm
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    Hi guys! My name is Elana Krischer and I’m a second year PhD student in the History department. I focus on early 19th century Iroquois history, mainly looking at issues of removal and sovereignty and the creation of space. I would like to work in academia and I think digital history will really help my research by adding a visual component to the changing physical spaces I’d like to explore. I feel comfortable with the historiography I’m working in and have written roughly 65,000 historiography papers since starting grad school (that may be an exaggeration). My writing and analysis skills certainly need some work. Digital history is a fairly new idea to me because technology has been my enemy for many years but I am hoping this class helps with that as well.

    Reply
  • January 26, 2016 at 6:41 pm
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    Hello everyone! My name is Matthew Chamberlain and I am currently in my second semester as a graduate student in the history program. I graduated from UAlbany in May of 2015 with a degree in history (no surprises there, I hope). My research interests are mostly related to issues of censorship, especially with regards to music and academia. As far as career goals go, I’m not sure where I will end up, but I hope that it will relate to history somehow. I’m enrolled in this course because I feel like learning about digital history will open some doors that are currently closed off to me at the moment. My skills in historiography, writing, and researching are adequate, but there is always room for improvement. My luck with all things digital is hit or miss. I managed to figure out how to use the internet databases available at UAlbany through a lot of trial and error, and I can do this competently now. I will admit, that I’m a little nervous about learning new software, but I think I will be able to adapt. Also, I am able to find cat videos with moderate levels of success. I’m looking forward to this semester and seeing what I can learn.

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  • January 26, 2016 at 9:15 pm
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    I’ve very sorry to be waiting until we’re actually in class to be writing this.

    Hello everyone! My name is Emily and I’m a senior double majoring in History and Informatics. In the long term I hope to working in archiving/digital archives for a museum or organization. I’m super interested in how technology has and is continuing to change the way people think about and interact with subjects like history, which as we’ve established aren’t typically associated with computing.

    I feel comfortable in the interpretation of history and writing up papers. I know I’ve gotten through research in classes, but I tend to find it a little tedious which leads to me slacking in how thorough I look into a subject. That is something I would like to work and improve upon.

    As an informatics major, I have had some experience in using databases, learning new software, trouble shooting computer problems, etc. I am much better at the theoretical side of informatics–using programs and understanding how different technologies affect different people–than the practical side, however. Hopefully I’ll be able to use this class to get a better understanding of database structure (I’ve taken intro classes on it, but not much actually stuck).

    Reply

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