Grinnell College – Class of 2016
Concentration: American Studies
My experience with digital humanities lies primarily with the powerful analytical potential of mapping (and other visual forms of communication) with Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Starting my junior year, I began working for Grinnell’s Data Analysis and Social Inquiry Lab (DASIL) on the Iowa Township Project. Our work is still ongoing as we continue to digitize local census records from approximately 1870 to 1930 and plat maps for the three townships surrounding Grinnell College’s campus. The final maps, created in GIS, will serve as a pedagogical tool for an environmental historian’s class about the effects of American Westward Expansion on land ownership. Expanding my GIS skills, this past summer I worked with Professor Sarah Purcell creating maps for her upcoming book about spectacle funerals in the American Civil War. You can read a brief article I wrote related to our project about historical sensibilities and mapping featured on DASIL’s blog. This fall, I will be continuing my work with Sarah Purcell as we build a website utilizing ESRI’s Story Map platform in order to showcase our maps and relevant historical sources in an interactive and publicly accessible forum.
In addition to my interest in mapping within digital humanities, I am particularly interested in poignant and proper use of technology in the classroom. I will be working with Sarah Purcell this fall to curate digital pedagogical tools for use in her 200-level Civil War history class for which I will serve as the technological mentor this upcoming spring.