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Sinead MacLeod

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Hey guys! 

Here’s a bit about me: 

I am finishing my final semester of my undergraduate degree this fall and graduating with a concentration of my own design,  called “History and Power: Critical Media Theory” as well as a minor in the History department. I am most interested in the ways that new media technologies are received and historicized. My research often explores how those technologies and the narratives around them both creates spaces for, and erase, alternative ways of using those technologies and the communities that redefine the medium for their own purposes. I am interested in concepts of poaching, assemblage and hacking and their relationship to strategic political/artistic action. 

I am currently working on a long-term creative research  and digitization project based primarily in NYU’s Riot Grrrl Collection. I hope to design a website that can display cross referenced and annotated digital copies of Riot Grrrl (or Third Wave feminist punk) zines to the public in a manner that  provides them as resources for academics as well as material that can be browsed casually. This project allows me to “poach” political documents made by young women in the 1990s and reclaim them for contemporary use as well as to re-imagine the experience of interacting with this type of document. The goal is to legitimize these voices and the objects as historical documents while building a bridge to launch them (carefully and conscientiously) into the digital world. I hope to pursue this project further in a graduate archives or library science program. 

On the other side of my brain, I am a huge coffee nerd. I am extremely passionate and interested in every aspect of the coffee business. I’ve been working as a barista for the last six years and I am constantly inspired by the innovation and creativity in the specialty coffee industry. It’s a fun gig because it allows me to interact with other people who enjoy the product I think a lot about, the field is constantly changing with new technologies and climate change, and the standard I hold myself to as a craftsperson is constantly improving. I spend 1/3 of my time thinking about archives, 1/3 thinking about feminism, and 1/3 thinking about coffee and its role in geopolitics, social life and community building. Quality coffee requires an attention and respect that is well suited to most other things. Also, free coffee, DUH!

Charlie Morgan

I’ve just arrived in New York having made the trip across the Atlantic from the UK. I’m a born and bred Londoner but studied my undergraduate degree in International Politics and International History further north in Sheffield.

After quite a bit of time working in hospitals (carrying syringes, watching surgery and tricking myself into thinking I had hepatitis) I decided to make the move back to more historical matters. I spent two years working at the Wellcome Collection in London, predominantly as a tour guide and blogger. I also archived some autograph letters for the Wellcome Library and discovered that people are no more obsessed by celebrity now than they were in the 19th Century. At the same time I worked as a researcher and curator at a community museum in Hackney, and as an ad hoc oral historian on projects as diverse as a bus garage in South London and the history of the Anti-Apartheid movement in the UK.

I’ve always been interested in what my friends might call ‘dusty old things’ and just before I moved to New York I discovered a box of postcards that had been salvaged from my grandparents’ house; some of then date back to the 1910s and so sorting them out is going to be my personal project.

I’m now a first year master’s student in the Archives and Public History program and I’m also going to be working at the Fales library. My research interests have always been around topics of race, class and neighborhood and I love exploring the changing histories of of massive urban environments. With that in mind New York is a great place for me to be right now.

Laura Williams

Hi! My name is Laura and I am a second year graduate student in the museum studies program at NYU. I’m currently starting research for my thesis, which will identify and discuss methodologies that museums can use to create more socially conscious exhibitions.

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Laura Williams, Brooklyn Museum

 While my master’s program has helped me better understand museums as a professional field, I’m really interested in researching regional and community subcultures that are found throughout the United States. I earned my undergraduate degree in American studies and history from the University of Maryland, a course of study that made me fall in love with cultural studies, identity formation, and ethnographic research. I think museums can be a powerful medium to share this type of information, and I hope to someday craft the narratives that visitors see.

 I love crowds! And people-watching. And seemingly dull stories of everyday people, both historical and contemporary, that I can relate to. On this blog, I hope to share such stories about the people who lived in Greenwich Village, finding something familiar in a city that always seems to be changing.

Jennifer Pleska

Hi, my name is Jennifer Pleska and I’m a graduate student in the Archives and Public History program at New York University.  My love of history started at a very early age.  My wonderful parents originally sparked my interest in history through various family vacations during my childhood.  Trips to historic sites such as Jamestown, Gettysburg, and the Henry Ford Museum ignited my passion for history and influenced my educational and professional path.

I am originally from Northeastern Ohio and attended college at Miami University in Oxford, OH.  I received my Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and History.  Following graduation, I moved to Washington, DC and worked for J.P. Morgan Private Bank.  I absolutely loved living in the nation’s capital.  I spent my free time visiting the city’s numerous museums, traveling to historic sites in Virginia and Maryland, and volunteering as a docent for the National Park Service.

I always knew I wanted to continue my studies at the graduate level.  Before coming to NYU, I completed one year of graduate study at Boston College where I concentrated my studies on nineteenth-century U.S. history.  My research at BC included topics such as civil rights museums in the American South, the United States Civil War Centennial Commission, and Southern Civil War memory.  I am excited to be a part of NYU’s program and to focus my studies in the field of public history.  After I finish my degree, I hope to work as a museum educator for a historic institution.

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Deborah Wexler

Hi, my name is Deborah Wexler and I am a first year graduate student in the Public History program at New York University. I come to NYU through a circuitous and serendipitous route. Having a deep and abiding love of history ever since I was a little girl, I nonetheless majored in Communications at the University of Illinois at Urbana and eventually earned a MBA at Boston University. After working in consumer product marketing for a number of years, I relocated to the golden land of Northern California where I returned to my first love by pursuing a Master’s degree in Early American History at San Jose State University.

I first learned about the field and study of Public History in conversations with staff at the Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm in Massachusetts and the Van Cortlandt House in the Bronx. Here was a field where I could integrate my interest in the day-to-day stories of history with my desire to educate and pass along to other people my enthusiasm for a broken pipe shard, a torn piece of textile or the meanings hidden in a Naïve painting. I was intrigued by the idea of a formal course of study that would allow me to reach out to people and communicate the importance of history to our lives, what it says about where we came from and how it can inform our future.

I have been involved with the Palo Alto Historical Association, the planned Palo Alto History Museum, the oral history program at the Yiddish Book Center and most recently, as a volunteer at the Merchant’s House Museum on East 4th Street.  After graduation, I hope to work in a historic house museum, a living history site or history museum.

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Sana Masood

Originally, I am from Pakistan and came to the U.S. when I was 4-years-old. After moving around a bit, I lived in Oklahoma for the past 14 years. It may not be the most exciting location to reside in, but it was a nice and relaxed place to spend most of my life so far. I did my undergrad at the University of Oklahoma in history of science, medicine, and technology with a minor in history. OU has a wonderful history of science collections in its library. The time I spent there for classes and research first started my interest in archives. My final semester was spent helping research and design an exhibit on Galileo that the university will be opening next year.

During the semester brea10534687_2152399256470_7814245809982440994_nk I had between graduating from OU and coming to NYU, I worked at the Oklahoma History Center where I was creating a database of the WWI soldiers from the state by examining the draft documents from 1917. This project reinforced for me that I made the right choice in deciding to study archives because I truly loved my work.

Currently, I am a first year student in the M.A. Archives and Public History program concentrating on archives, and I am working at the Fales Library in Bobst. So far, I had a much easier time getting used to the difference in pace of life between Oklahoma and New York City, and I am looking forward to my time here.

Caitlin Biggers

Hi everyone, I’m Caitlin. I’m a native of Peekskill, NY, a Hudson River town about an hour north of New York City. Wanting a taste of life outside the New York Metro area, I did my undergrad at Goucher College, a small, former women’s college just outside Baltimore, Maryland. While at Goucher, I majored in history and minored in studio art, a combination that ultimately yielded a fascination with the role of published art in shaping a national collective memory set.

10390267_10202292482178185_2988305594724832260_nSince then, I’ve pursued this same interest in the form of image archiving and presentation. I can thank an archiving job at Steven Holl Architects, a prominent modern architecture studio, for introducing me to the ways in which a living artist’s body of work can be preserved and broadcast as part of a collective, visual historic record.

At present, I’m a first year Master’s student in New York University’s Archives and Public History program. I also currently work as an archivist for a West Village based minimalist painter. In preparation for the ultimate creation of an artist’s foundation and searchable digital archive, I spend my days inspecting, photographing, describing and cataloging an extensive collection of acrylic paintings and works on paper. I’m really looking forward to using both my studies and professional pursuits to bring the intersection of art, history and our collective past to a broad and varied audience.

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