Working Group Participants
Christopher D. Cantwell
Chris Cantwell is the Assistant Director of the Dr. William M. Scholl Center for American History and Culture at the Newberry Library in Chicago. An American religious historian, Cantwell’s research focuses on the politicization of Protestant fundamentalism in America. At the Newberry, Cantwell administrates many of the Scholl Center’s public programs, including its growing list of digital publications and exhibits.
Jessica Elfenbein just arrived at the University of South Carolina after having taught history at the University of Baltimore for 16+ years. She loved leading “Baltimore ’68: Riots and Rebirth,” a multi-faceted, prize winning project that included public convenings, civic dialogue, community art, new scholarship (culminating in Temple University Press’ publication of Baltimore ’68 last year) and a fabulous interactive website. Jessica is interested in the digital humanities, but has much to learn.
Jordan Grant, Facilitator
After finishing his MA in Public History in the spring of 2011, Jordan began pursuing a PhD in 20th U.S. History at American University. As a public history student, he developed a keen interest in the digital humanities, particularly in how new media provides novel opportunities for the public to explore cultural institutions and meet the experts who “curate” the past. Currently, Jordan works as a web design intern for both the Smithsonian National Museum of American History and the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum.
Tom Hollowak has been the head of the special collections department at the University of Baltimore for 22 years. He is responsible for creating and maintaining the interactive website, http://archives.ubalt.edu/bsr/index.html. His involvement with this project has led to a number of digital initiatives to make the more than 134 archival collections available online. Although, Tom is interested in digital humanities he realizes that there is much he still needs to learn.
As a graduate of the Arizona State University Public History Program, Mitchell studied the various aspects of community, technology, and business in society. A summer internship at the Smithsonian National American History Museum sparked further interest in mixing technology and media with the teaching of history. This led to being a contributing member of the Becoming Arizona project, in which staff at ASU attempted to launch an encyclopedia for the state of Arizona. Mitchell is currently working in the IT field.
Dr. Catherine M. Lewis is the Executive Director of Museums, Archives & Rare Books; the Director of the Museum of History and Holocaust Education; and a Professor of History at Kennesaw State University. She is also a Special Projects Coordinator at the Atlanta History Center. She holds a B.A. in English and History with honors from Emory University and a M.A. and Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Iowa.
Justin Quinn Olmstead
As a High School teacher and Ph.D. Candidate Justin has set up or participated in several online ventures designed to assist in the collaboration between historians and students including international video conferences for students and the International Society for First World War Studies.
Emily Pfotenhauer is the Outreach Specialist for Wisconsin Heritage Online, a collaborative statewide digitization program. She holds an M.A. in Art History with a certificate in Material Culture Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As the Charles Hummel Fellow for the Chipstone Foundation, she worked with the Wisconsin Historical Society to develop the Wisconsin Decorative Arts Database, a digital catalog of Wisconsin decorative arts from the collections of museums and local historical societies across the state.
Kyle Roberts is Assistant Professor of Public History and New Media in the History Department at Loyola University. He teaches courses on public history, New Media, digital humanities, religion, and North America and the Atlantic World in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. He is one of the creators of Dissenting Academies Online: Virtual Library System (vls.english.qmul.ac.uk), an innovative reconstruction of the holdings and borrowings of the leading eighteenth and nineteenth-century English dissenting academies.
Charles Romney is an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He graduated from Pomona College and received his Ph.D. in history from UCLA. Charles serves as the coordinator of the History Department’s MA program in Public History and teaches a graduate seminar on “Digital History.” He also works with colleagues on the university’s digital and physical archive project “Law and Civil Rights in Arkansas.”
Will Tchakirides, Facilitator
As a graduate student in American University’s Public History program, Will interpreted the past to cultural tourists for the National Park Service, helped develop a furnishing plan at Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial, and built a website documenting the evolution of Milwaukee’s brewing industry in the Cold War Era. He also worked as a web-designer for the National Museum of American History’s American Enterprise exhibition and Anacostia Community Museum. He currently resides in Milwaukee, WI working as a freelance public historian and web designer.
Gerben Zaagsma is an editor and web developer at the Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts & Sciences) where he is currently developing a new version of the website Historici.nl. He holds an MA in Modern History from the University of Groningen, an MA in Yiddish Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London) and a PhD in Modern History from the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. Following his thesis defence in 2008 he worked for two years as a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies of University College London. In the past few years he has become increasingly interested in the digital humanities and the question of how new technologies are changing historical research. He also built and (co-)maintains two internet portals European History Primary Sources and Yiddish Sources.