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Historical Scholarship in the Digital Age

Jason: Life Update

With so much going on in the last few months, Digital Clio has regrettably fallen to the wayside.  Since nothing has appeared here since April, I thought the blog deserved a brief update running through everything going on:

Rawley Conference
At the end of April I was elected to be the Chair/Director of the James A. Rawley Conference in the Humanities, a graduate-student run conference held on the campus of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  Over the next few months the groundwork will be put in place for the conference, including when the conference will be held, the theme of the conference, and arranging the keynote speaker.

We’re also hoping to launch a blog to make it easier for us to keep in touch with those interested in the Rawley Conference.  In the mean time, you can follow updates on the Conference with Twitter.

Wedding Bells in the Air
At the end of June I married my best friend and other half.  We were also in the process of relocating to a new apartment.  She was also busy finishing up tasks related to her degree/new job.  Needless to say, May and June were incredibly busy for both of us.

Onwards and Upwards
In the middle of moving and wrapping up wedding plans, I finished writing my thesis in June and successfully defended it at the beginning of this month.  The last week or so has been spent trying to finish revisions and suggestions brought up by my thesis committee.  It will be a great feeling to have it off my desk!  This fall I’ll be starting the Ph.D. program at UNL.

Buffalo Bill’s Wild West
Brent and I were both hired to work as Research Assistants for the coming academic year with the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming, which is starting the Papers of Buffalo Bill digital history project.  Brent is handling research on the Rough Riders and I am tackling the show Indians Cody used in his Wild West shows.  The goal, on my end at least, is the creation of a database tracking the name of Native American performers, tribal and linguistic affiliations, their hometowns, what parts they played in the show, among other things.

Teaching Historical Thinking
During the spring semester I served as a teaching assistant for Dr. William Thomas, along with my colleague Leslie Working.  Throughout the course of the semester we devoted much time and energy to fostering historical thinking among our undergraduates by using digital technology such as PRS Clickers and Wikis for group writing assignments.  Leslie and I are co-writing an article about the results we received over the semester that we hope to publish in the near future.  In October, we will be presenting our results to the Teaching History Forum hosted by the History Department at UNL.

TokenX Review
Brent and I are also co-writing a review of TokenX that should appear on Digital History in the next couple of weeks.

Related to Digital History, we’re currently in the process of creating a digital historian directory, which will provide a way for historians to connect with one another and view projects they are working on.  You may want to watch Digital Clio or the Doing Digital History blog for news of its launch.

Book Chapter Drafts
Brent and I both have book chapters either out to publishers, or will soon have them submitted to publishers.  I anticipate heavy amounts of editing in the future, but for the mean time, they’re off my desk.

A Blogging Resolution
Finally, I hope to pay much more attention to the blog from here on out.  I hope the blog will become a central place where you can see my thought process or read my thoughts/ideas on digital history.  My plan is to set aside chunks of time to devote to the blog where I can post something new at least twice a month (baby steps…), but ideally I would have something new every week.  You can also follow me on Twitter (@jaheppler) or FriendFeed (jaheppler).  If you haven’t already, you may want to subscribe to our blog.

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