Conversations in History

12:00 pm on Wednesday, October 23, 2013
2:00 pm on Wednesday, October 23, 2013
HIS 504, 226 Bay State Road
"Conversations in History" — a series of seminars sponsored by the History department at Boston University with the support of the BU Center for the Humanities — begins its 2013-14 series on Wednesday, October 23 at noon in Room 504 of the History department (226 Bay State Road) with the first of two talks that examine unorthodox "memory sites." Ryan Cordell (English, Northeastern University) will discuss the challenges and choices he and his colleagues faced in creating "Our Marathon — The Boston Bombing Digital Archive," a crowd-sourced, digital archive of photographs, videos, narratives, and social media related to the Boston Marathon bombing. Ryan Cordell's talk will discuss the challenges of constructing, within a few month of the event, a site that functions both as a memorial and an archive and also explore the broader issues involved in preserving the memory of an event witnessed and shared by an entire community. An Assistant Professor of English at Northeastern University and a member of the NUlab for Texts, Maps, and Networks, Cordell's work focuses on the intersections between literary, periodical, and religious culture in antebellum America. He has been involved in a number of major projects in the digital humanities, including the editing of a digital edition of Hawthorne's "Celestial Railroad." Along with his colleagues Elizabeth Dillon (English) and David Smith (Computer and Information Services), he is the recipient of an NEH grant to develop models, using tools from computational linguistics, to track the spread of prints and reprints of poetry and short stories in nineteenth-century newspapers. He also regularly writes on issues involving the digital humanities for the Chronicle of Higher Education.