Hi, I'm Jason. I am the Academic Technology Specialist in the Department of History at Stanford University, where I collaborate with faculty and graduate students on digital history research, teaching, and publishing. Most of my work focuses on data visualization, humanities design, and digital and spatial history. I write here regularly on my blog, contribute to the BlogWest group blog, and co-host The First Draft podcast and Overanalyze podcast.
I am a 20th century U.S. historian specializing in environmental, the North American West, and digital and public history. I am currently working on a book manuscript titled Machines in the Valley: Community, Urban Change, and Environmental Politics in Silicon Valley. The book describes the emergence of the Silicon Valley as a political project closely tied to the region's environment, while also charting a story of "environment" becoming a central political issue.
This fall quarter I am teaching my digital history course. You can find the draft of the syllabus here. While the title of the course hasn’t changed since the last time I taught it, I’ve made two substantial changes to the overall structure of the course. First, the course focuses more heavily on public history instead of a range of digital methodologies. Part of this is self-serving—I’ve always wanted to teach a public history course, and the opportunity to combine public and digital was a welcome opportunity.
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I’ve long advocated open history as something we should pursue as historians. Along those ends, I’ve been inspired by Caleb McDaniel, Lincoln Mullen, and Shawn Graham and their use of open notebooks. Caleb, in particular, led me to try out Gitit, a git-backed wiki platform written in Haskell and tightly integrated with my favorite command line tool, pandoc. I loved using Gitit, but there were a few little things that bugged me about it.