A Case for Critical Rail Studies

Historians have studied railroads for over one hundred years. Railroads and trains have fascinated people in multitudes of ways. The size and speed of the early engines enthralled America. The public has followed along as tracks were built, trains ran, products rolled, and built the modern America. Yet what has been often overlooked is a…

Not “Cherokee Railroads” but Railroads in Indian Territory

I have been thinking recently on the conceptualization of how we think of and have thought of railroads and where they belong. I realized that often railroads are considered in the area in which they serve (Nebraska railroads, Kansas City Railroads, etc.) but that is a misplaced understanding. For me, it is largely how we…

Reconstructing what didn’t need “reconstruction”

One of the many consequences of the Civil War in the U.S. was the legacy of Reconstruction. Most of the focus of reconstruction has rightly been on the various phases of reconstruction. President Abraham Lincoln had one plan. President Andrew Johnson had another (bad) plan. Congress had a challenging and difficult plan. Each attempted to…

Applied Digital Humanities

Using digital humanities in my classroom has been important for several years. Working with Doug Seefeldt and Wil Thomas really pushed me to think about the ways that we can and should approach computing in a humanities classroom. While the projects that Will and Doug worked on were enormous and actively pushed the boundaries on…

Teaching with DH

Now that the semester is in full swing, I am embarking on a new project to use Digital Humanities tools in the high school classroom. Working with several graduate students, we are crafting a DH unit plan that combines teaching a history unit with a digital tool in the humanities. I am excited to see…

Leasing Native Land

During the late 1800s, the Choctaw, Cherokee, Chickasaw, and Creek nations worked with and against whites who wanted access to Native Lands. Various people, including J. J. McAlester who would become governor of the territory, did what they could to gain wealth. Many Native Americans did what they could to gain wealth. This was not…

Rethinking Elias C. Boudinot

How do we remember people? Do we remember them for┬átheir parents? How about their notoriety? The memory of individuals gets complex. Often we humans want to tag a person with just one label and be done with them. We say, “oh, that guy is a bad guy” or “that guy was a good one,” but…

Finding Purpose

The art of teaching is more complex than I imagined as a young teacher. As my own children are entering college, I find myself looking back on my teaching to try to find the most valuable components. What are those things that have transcended my experience as a student at all levels, that which has…

DH: Teaching

Digital history has been a major part of my work as an academic. As I was entering graduate school, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln was hiring Will Thomas in a bold new move to embrace a new direction of Digital History. Will had just published, along with Ed Ayers, the first foray into DH that was…

Digital Publishing

Digital Humanities has taken on a different and refined look over the years. Ten years ago, (I can’t believe it was that long ago) I began working on digital history as a part of my master’s and doctoral work. I was fortunate to have two of the best digital historians as mentors. Will Thomas and…