Blog Post

HASTAC, meet UIowa History Corps!

My name is Mary Wise and I am a second-year PhD student in the history department at the University of Iowa. I am excited to be sharing my very first blog post as a member of the HASTAC Scholars program! I would like to use my first blog post to introduce the HASTAC community to my own digital humanities experiences at the University of Iowa: History Corps.

So, what is History Corps?

History Corps is a Graduate student-led public humanities online digital and oral history project hosted by the Department of History at the University of Iowa. We are graciously supported by the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies and by our adviser, Professor Jacki Thompson-Rand. As a group of history graduate students, we explore the digital humanities and publicly engaged scholarship and create digital projects. Our values include collaboration, academic training and real-world experience in the digital humanities.








History Corps Members, Fall 2015. Photo Credit: Leisl Carr Childers.

My Experience in History Corps

History Corps has been an amazing and trans-formative experience for me because of its consistent emphasis on collaboration. Our work in History Corps is a contrast to the isolating nature of the academy. We use digital and physical meeting space to exchange ideas on our own projects and simultaneously to consult on the main group History Corps project which I discuss below. These experiences train me to integrate collaborative scholarship into my own work. Working as a member of History Corps has also been my experience with the digital humanities. As a born-digital humanities project, History Corps incorporates a wide-range of software and hardware tools to create our numerous projects. Though we use digital tools, we don’t forget that we are also humanistic scholars. As a result, I have been able to develop both my digital and humanities scholarship in tandem, rather than as separate threads.

In addition to checking out our site, I invite you to check out the Prezi below from History Corps members Danielle Hoskins, Laurel Sanders, and myself; these clips can better help others to understand what it is that we do in History Corps.

Main Project: Tribal Digital Project

This year, History Corps is working on a large tribal digital project with the Ioway Nation and with the Meskwaki Nation. This project will result in the creation of a digital map and pedagogical tool informed and created by and with the Ioway and Meskwaki. Several times throughout the Prezi above, you can hear our members talk about this project! This is a new model for our working-group and we are able to embrace this collaborative project because of support from our department, our partners including the Obermann Center, the State Historical Society of Iowa, the University of Northern Iowa, and the Iowa Office of the State Archaeologist. I invite you all to check out our projects and our graduate-student-led model by visiting our site: You can also follow us on Facebook and via Twitter (@UIowa History Corps) to check out our progress!


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