Digital History at AHA 2014

Now that the focus on holiday giving is almost over (see this short humorous bit from the New Yorker on Boxing Day and its meanings for a sideways indication of what I mean by “almost”–boxing up goods for the unfortunate, what a concept!), I am turning my attention to wrapping up preparations for AHA 2014.

It’s been a long time since I’ve attended the AHA annual meeting.  I thought I might compare my avoidance to  Miriam Posner‘s, but then I realized that her first AHA was in 2004.  I interviewed for my current job in 1992.  Sigh.  

My own avoidance began with an early-career academic’s sense that the annual meeting was for those involved in job searches from one side or the other.  And more recently, I found myself having other obligations during the first week in January, obligations associated with my involvement in digital humanities and initiatives focused on integrating digital humanities into the undergraduate curriculum.  I’m very pleased to say that this year my ongoing explorations in digital humanities and digital history have come together to bring me back to the AHA.

In November’s Perspectives the new AHA Director of Scholarly Communication and Digital Initiatives, Seth Denbo,  contributed a piece on digital history at AHA 2014.  There are numerous sessions during the meeting proper, as well as a pre-conference workshop on “How to Get Started in Digital History” and THATCamp AHA2014 on the final day of the conference, Sunday, January 5.

I’ll be presenting in one of the digital history sessions focused on the various places we use digital tools to teach history, both in and out of the classroom.  I’m looking forward to hearing what my fellow panelists Steve Lubar and Julian Chambliss have to say about their work in public history and local history projects respectively.

I’m also excited to be presenting my work on TEI-compatible markup for financial records during the poster session on Saturday, January 4.  I’ve gotten great feedback on this work from my colleagues in the TEI community, and I’ll be pleased to discuss it with other historians at AHA.


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