This blog post represents two first for me: 1) it is my first blog post ever on the internet! 2) it is my first assignment for my Digital Humanities graduate class at Loyola Chicago. This class is taught by Dr. Christopher Cantwell. The main purpose of this post is to do a profile on a digital historian. This includes two different tasks. First, I need to review who they are and what their digital footprint looks like. Second, I need to comment on how they use different digital platforms.
The person that I selected is Liz Covart. She seeks to help ease the present-day polarized America by providing a common history of the United States. Because of this, her focus is on early American history. Her CV reflects this focus; she has previously been a Seasonal Ranger at Boston National Historic Park and is the Founder of a podcast entitled Ben Franklin’s World. Currently, she is the Founding Director of the Colonial Williamsburg Innovation Studios. In this role, Covart uses her prolific knowledge of the digital humanities to expand Colonial Williamsburg’s reach to a new audience. For example, their active YouTube channel has almost 20K subscribers and presents topics such as Historic Trades or Nation Builders.
Covart’s digital footprint is impressive. She started a podcast in 2013 and produced it for a few years. This podcast, Ben Franklin’s World, has been ongoing for over a decade and just published its 366th episode. Additionally, she is the founding director of Colonial Williamsburg’s digital push. The fact that she was chosen for such a high-profile position speaks volumes about her ability in the digital realm.
The best part of Covart’s digital profile and projects is that they are accessible. Her professional website is easy to navigate. It was very easy to find her CV and resume, as well as links to her projects. One of biggest projects that she was involved in was her podcast, Ben Franklin’s World. The main goal of the podcast is to talk about the colonial world that Ben Franklin would have lived in. This brings historical topics to the public in a digestible manner. The title is genius because many people adore Ben Franklin. This will attract them to the podcast. This is especially true along the east coast where colonial history and tradition is strong. As a fellow and aspiring public historian, I find this project to be inspiring. I hope that I can start and run a project that is prolific as this one.