Some up coming events

While usually I recommend that people spend their time reading my blog, other blogs, or waiting for my blog or other blogs to post, I do concede that occasionally folks need to go out and, you know, do stuff.

Fortunately, there is stuff to do next week here in Grand Forks, North Dakota. First, there is the 45th Annual Writers’ Conference which will take place that the North Dakota Museum of Art on the beautiful campus of the University of North Dakota. The theme is “Imagine: A Literary Festival on the Prairie” and here’s a link to the schedule for it.

It has a sweet poster:

2014 WC poster

But, wait, there’s more! On April 9th the Working Group in Digital and New media is hosting Ed Ayers, digital history pioneer and President of the University of Richmond, at the Gorecki Alumni Center at 4 pm.

Here’s the press release:

Leader in Digital History Comes to Campus… Virtually

On April 9th noted Civil War historian and digital pioneer Edward Ayers, President of the University of Richmond, will look back on “20 Years of Digital History”. As is fitting for a pioneer in digital history, Ayers will visit campus digitally via a live video feed from the University of Richmond’s campus. His talk will present a sweeping overview of the developments in digital history.

President Ayers talk coincides with the ongoing commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Professor Eric Burin, UND’s own Civil War Historian and historical database guru, noted:

“Ayers’s is one of the premier scholars on the Civil War Era. His “Valley of the Shadow” project revolutionized research on the Civil War. It not only made available countless historical documents; it allowed researchers to navigate those documents in an almost infinite number of ways. Thanks to Ayers’s path-breaking work, every researcher can offer “alternative readings” of the war.”

Ayers’ work in digital history has received national accolades including the 2013 National Medal for the Humanities awarded by Barak Obama in the White House, the Bancroft Prize, Beveridge Prize, and has been a finalist for the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. As a teacher he has been recognized as the National Professor of the Year from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and his digital history projects have been used in classrooms around the world. He is also the co-host of BackStory, a nationally syndicated radio show that ties history to the present day.

The talk is sponsored by the Working Group in Digital and New Media and the College of Arts and Sciences. Joel Jonientz, Associate Professor of Art and Design and the Chair of the Working Group in Digital and New Media, notes that the innovative ways of bring a speaker like Ayers to UND is :

“.. fitting that we’re using digital technology to bring one of the most renowned digital historians to campus. It gives the UND community the chance to interact and learn from a global scholar in the humanities, and to think about the future of the past.”

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