Because of my internship, I have gained a greater understanding of the nature of digital public humanities (DPH) and its intersections with various disciplines. I got to explore digital tools and platforms for text analysis and content creation, developed a working knowledge of methods and practices applied in DPH, and build a bridge between the theoretical concepts and practical applications learned throughout my graduate certificate coursework and internship at RRCHNM.
My internship experience has equipped me with the skills and methods in digital tools and platforms that are transforming the ways in which we research, interpret, and communicate our stories. I was able to use a wide range of high-demand digital platforms that I can use in the Humanities and Social Sciences realms and created pieces of scholarship that has enhanced my portfolio.
Two projects that I worked on during my internship experience were the Appalachian Trail Histories and the World History Commons. The first project allowed me to interact with hands-on textual analysis tools to examine historical data from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) and to better understand some of the intersections between the AT and race. The project, directed by T. Mills Kelly, addressed the question of why do so few people of color utilize the AT? The answer became complex, requiring research methods and historical perspectives that moved me away from simplistic responses pertaining to conventions in hiking culture or socio-economic factors. With the World History Commons project–an NEH-funded collection, led by Kelly Schrum et al. and managed by Nate Sleeter–I reviewed online public platforms of world history websites, primary sources, teaching sources, and methods guides. I had written reviews aimed at increasing the discoverability of digital collections containing diverse perspectives, creators, audiences, and subjects.
As part of the RRCHNM team, I had opportunities to contribute to other projects such as DataScribe (beta-testing) and Consolation Prize (provided narrative voice for one episode). I also attended a couple of sessions hosted by the Center’s Digital Public History Working Group, an informal venue for discussions about the field (where it’s headed and where to seek future opportunities, showcasing various works, and learning new skills. I highly thank RRCHNM for the chance they have given me to do my DHP practicum with them. I am especially thankful to Mills Kelly and Nate Sleeter, for their active guidance throughout the completion of my internship. I want to also extend my gratitude to Jessica Otis, Abby Mullen, Jessica Mack, Lincoln Mullen, and Jennifer Rosenfeld for providing me with learning opportunities and mentoring through conversations, workshops, and projects.
From here on, my plan is to continue learning about and playing with digital technologies, provide inclusive opportunities for diverse publics to interact with sources that help them think about their past in new ways, and assist them in the collection, description, narration, and exhibition of primary source materials.