I received my undergraduate degree in history from VCU in 1998. After graduating, I worked primarily in film and television in Richmond, VA. Though the bulk of my work was as a producer/videographer/editor for public television and non-profits, I also worked on few commercial movies, did a stint as a television news photographer, and produced commercials for politicians and lobbying groups. After a variety of experiences, I decided I wanted to concentrate on historical documentaries. However, I felt that my experience with historical interpretation was limited and that I would like to study history at the graduate level to increase my competence as a interpretor of historical evidence. I was also frustrated by the habit of historical documentaries to obscure their process. Therefore, I was particularly drawn to the ability of digital formats to link references, reveal the research process, and allow viewers to engage critically with film and video documentary productions, as well as their source material.
Currently, I am in the master’s program here at Mason, concentrating coursework and research in late 19th/early 20th century United States social and cultural history. I am interested in the construction of class and gender, visual culture, mass media, memory, and the history of technology. Issues of objectivity and critical distance, experience as evidence, and narrative construction are of specific interest to me. I am currently researching the development of the historical documentary and its relationship to historical pedagogy and scholarship. I hope to incorporate this work into a digital storytelling project for this course.
I am equally interested in academic and public history. I completed courses in History and New Media and currently work as a research assistant for the Center for History and New Media. Work with the Public Projects Team and Omeka introduced me to a thriving community of digital humanists, working in a variety of unique roles, many of which combine traditional scholarship and teaching with the development of digital projects and public collaboration. My primary goal is to produce digital scholarship, but I also aspire to be involved in collaborative public projects and to teach courses in digital history.