I am an Associate Professor of History and Social Studies Education Coordinator at Northwest Missouri State University. I am also co-editor with Dr. Dawn Gilley of Scholastica: An Undergraduate Research Journal of the Humanities. Together, we direct Digital Humanities Northwest which serves as a platform for larger faculty-driven projects.
My work in Digital Humanities is reflected in my presentations and research. Two chapters in Quick Hits for Teaching with Digitial Humanities highlight engaging audiences and how to teach using Timeline.js from Knight Lab at Northwestern University. I have also presented at the American History Association on “Undergraduate DH in the Short Term” which addressed the challenges that I faced in teaching an undergraduate-focused course on DH with a surprisingly great result.
I have presented at the Southern History Association, the International Business History Conference, and the Western Historical Association on various aspects of Native America and railroads, specifically how nations in the Indian Territory upended expected reactions to railroads.
In 2016 I was awarded The Excellence in Learning, Teaching, and Technology Award from Northwest for my work on Digital History. The same year, the University of Nebraska at Kearney published my first chapter in Just Plains Folks: Studies of the People of the Great Plains.
I received my Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I was a graduate teaching assistant and research assistant for many professors and a variety of projects. I have served as a research assistant on Railroads and The Making of Modern America, under Will Thomas, building and analyzing the content in the project. Will’s significant work as a digital historian has propelled my interest in what we can do with technology to analyze and create an understanding of history in new ways. I have also served as a Senior Research Assistant on Civil War Washington, under Ken Winkle, Susan Lawrence, and Ken Price, generating, analyzing and discovering content relating to the nation’s capital during the Civil War. Winkle’s steady leadership through a deep understanding of the Civil War and Lincoln’s activity coupled with Price’s desire for solid digital humanities projects slowed the project but also developed an understanding of the value of well-crafted publications, whether they were digital or print.
My research focuses on capitalism and Native America as the two intersected in peculiar ways in the second half of the 19th century. Railroads, energy in the form of coal, and the protected space of the Indian Territory (what is now Oklahoma), all played a role in developing and subsequently altering markets within and external to the region. Railroads crossed the space of what is now eastern Oklahoma in an effort to get coal, yet it was only with the permission as well as the successful efforts of Native Americans to manage railroads and provide for their nation’s interests. Railroads, at least for a time, were subservient to Native Americans until the coming of Jay Gould disrupted the balance forged between the people of the space and the industrial entity crossing their land.
The manuscript is in progress as I work to understand and reinterpret capitalism and Native America.
You can find me on Twitter @rvoss.