I spent part of Sunday transferring an account from Bluehost to Reclaim Hosting for Amanda Regan. Migrations are a service we provide free of charge for folks, and as Tim once noted, “a good migration can be very therapeutic.” Migrations are particularly nice when the losing host is on CPanel like Bluehost—it makes for a fairly seamless transition using the “Restore a Full Backup” tool. What was particularly interesting to me about this migration was what I was actually moving. Sunday was the 10th anniversary of my blog, and one of the things the bava provided me initially was a refuge from my Ph.D. work. While moving Amanda Regan’s various sites, I realized that she was using her site(s) to share her Ph.D. work in History at George Mason University. In particular, from 2013 to 2015 she was a Digital History Fellow at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media.
Her main site highlights her research into the rhetoric and realities behind physical education in the early 20th century through mapping and visualizing data; narrates her process of restoring digital photos; provides tutorials for new digital history tools like Dat; as well as providing an in-depth look at her coursework as a grad student at GMU. It’s a beautiful vision of the value of narrating your work while moving through higher ed, and it provides a nice ballast to all the energy I expend on blogging being extra-academic. Amanda has built a remarkable portfolio of her work as a digital historian, and she’s only in the third year of her Ph.D. But her work doesn’t end with a blog, she also manages an Omeka install wherein she shares her research on Mining Physical Education by way of an exhibit. What’s more, she has various sites dedicated to specific programming projects and courses. For examples, this WordPress site providing a textual analysis of Sylvia Ullback articles on physical culture in the 1930s Photoplay magazine.
It’s nice to see a rising scholar’s work as open, accessible, and discursive from its very inception. A personalized professional space for tracking your thinking over time, and sharing it openly and often for maximum network effects. What might have seemed radical a decade ago just seems smart and thoughtful today.