Sharon Leon Part 1: A Better History of Digital History

In this two-part interview, we speak with Michigan State University historian Sharon Leon. Known for her work in American religious history and in digital public history, before moving to MSU Leon spent over a decade at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University where she oversaw numerous award-winning digital projects as well as served as director for the web publishing platform Omeka, a tool whose ongoing development she continues to oversee. Her long list of digital history scholarship includes numerous chapters and articles on topics ranging from digital public history to critiques of the narrative of the field of digital history’s own development. In part 1 of the conversation, we focus on Leon’s conception of a broader and better history of digital history as well as her own journey into that field. You can read more on this aspect of Leon’s work in the 2018 volume Bodies of Information: Intersectional Feminism and the Digital Humanities in the chapter “Complicating a ‘Great Man’ Narrative of Digital History in the United States.”

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AHR Interview presents brief discussions with historians whose work has appeared in the American Historical Review, the official publication of the American Historical Association. Sometimes the interview accompanies an article or a featured review in a current or recent issue; other times it will feature a scholar who has recently been in the news, but whose work appeared in the journal in the past. These accessible and user-friendly podcasts highlight historical scholarship of wide interest and enormous import for issues of the day.