I am a public historian and a digital humanist. As a digital historian, I work with colleagues, students, and the community to “curate the city,” thinking about the vernacular landscape as if it were a museum collection, in need of conservation and interpretation. At Arizona State University, I teach public history and work collaboratively with the NEXUS Digital Humanities Lab.
My work takes many forms, emphasizing oral history and collaborative work with the community to interpret regional landscapes, which we do through a mobile initiative, Salt River Stories. Salt River Stories is built using the Curatescape framework for digital publishing that I developed with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Ohio Board of Regents, the US Department of Education, and Cleveland State University. Curatescape uses Omeka, an open-source archival tool for its content management system, and dynamically feeds data to Google Fieldtrip; we’re working on a format for publishing e-books as well.
Prior to moving to ASU in 2013, I worked at Cleveland State University, where the regional urban landscape was my research laboratory. Along with Professor Mark Souther, I founded the Center for Public History and Digital Humanities. In conjunction with undergraduates and regional teachers, and colleagues, I developed a website devoted to the history Cleveland Cultural Gardens. We at the Center built the to the Euclid Corridor Transportation Project in collaboration with Cleveland Public Art, ideastream and the Greater Cleveland Regional Transportation Authority. The project interprets the region’s history in multimedia stories that appear on nineteen interactive, multimedia kiosks located along Euclid Avenue in 2009. We have crafted a parallel oral history project. To date, we have collected over 450 oral histories.
When I directed the Center for Public History and Digital Humanities (through 2103) we had more than two dozen digital and public humanities endeavors, with multiple project partners, ranging from the Shaker Lakes Nature Center to the Center for History & New Media. At CSU, I also developed and coordinated the department’s social studies program, and I was the director of several Teaching American History Projects, including Rivers, Roads, & Rails and the Sounds of American History, and Constructing, Consuming, and Conserving America, in collaboration with the Educational Service Center of Cuyahoga County.