An Update

Hi all,

So I finally have a working computer again. Hooray!

Now that I’ve got my data back, I’ve started editing the Harriet interview once again. I lost all my edits that were on my old computer but it shouldn’t take me too long to get back to were I left off.

The website is coming together really nicely so far. Joy has done a fantastic job on all the pages she has been working on as well as keeping me up-to-date on the tasks that still need completing.  I’m so grateful to be working on the project with her.

There isn’t really any new development as far as the website is concerned. We just have a few pages to complete and I still need to upload the videos (which will happen very soon) but that’s about it.

I watched the recording of last week’s class since I was out of town for Spring Break. I look forward to the peer reviewing sessions that are coming up. It will be helpful to get input on what needs to be included or edited on our site.

Writing History in the Digital Age Reflection

In “The Historian’s Craft, Popular Memory, and Wikipedia,” Robert Wolff explores the changes in creating and distributing history during the digital age. He uses Wikipedia as a main example that reflects this growing blend between history and memory. Wikipedia provides a space where anyone (with or without credentials) can publish their interpretations on historical events. Wolff emphasizes the interpretation aspect of such Wikipedia pages because they are more often drawn from people’s bias rather than objective facts. Wikipedia, at most, is a good source in exploring how history ties to memory. This provides potential in creating new historical approaches that focus on how memory shapes history.

An example on memory shaping history on Wikipedia can be seen in Saxton’s article titled, “Wikipedia and Women’s History: A Classroom Experience.” In most historical interpretations, women and their participation in historical events are largely ignored. Their experiences were seen as trivial and therefore marginalized from the larger historical narrative. Since people’s memories are based off historical interruptions that neglect the importance of women, Wikipedia pages reflect such constructed historical understandings. It has come to a point that women’s history is a separate category from the other categories of history. It would make more sense if historical pages reflected the whole experience-encompassing race, gender, class, and other factors-rather than highlighting the voices of certain groups of individuals (usually the elites).

For our research, I will take into account the play of memory on history. Since most of our sources are newspaper articles, diary entries, and oral histories, it is important to be aware of the bias that influence such understandings of events and the past.