Author Archives: Seth Denbo

About Seth Denbo

Seth oversees the publication and membership departments of the AHA and is working to develop innovative digital projects to enhance the organization's mission.

Seth earned his PhD from the University of Warwick and is a cultural historian of eighteenth-century Britain. He has taught British history in universities in both the United States and the United Kingdom. He has also worked on digital projects at Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities at UMD and the Department for Digital Humanities at King's College London. Over the past 10 years, Seth has participated actively in the development of innovative digital tools and methods for historical scholarship. Drawing on his experience as a teacher and researcher he played a key role in several international projects that expanded capacity for digital scholarship in the humanities. He also conceived and organized an ongoing seminar in digital history at the Institute of Historical Research in London that has been at the forefront of fostering innovation in the use of digital tools and methods for the study of history.

AHA Council Announces Changes to the American Historical Review

At its January 3, 2018, meeting, the AHA Council voted to change some important features of the management and editorial structure of the American Historical Review (AHR). The most consequential of these was the decision, starting with the hiring of the next editor in 2021, to no longer require that the editor relocate and take up a position as a faculty member at Indiana University Bloomington (IU). Instead, the selected candidate will be able to remain at their current institution while serving as editor of the AHR.

Teaching Local History using Digital Methods

“British Again Striking Hard on Somme Front Capture Two Lines of German Trenches” reads a banner headline in the Harrisburg Telegraph from September 22, 1916. Other headlines from the front page that day include everything from a parade and open air dance in the market square to a report on the US Department of Justice antitrust proceedings against “the Reading coal ‘barons.’”

Peer-Reviewing Digital Scholarship: A New Conference Leads the Way

A few weeks ago, AHA Today interviewed Celeste Sharpe, a graduate from George Mason University, who’s produced, what is probably, the first born-digital dissertation in the discipline of history. When asked about her future publication plans, Sharpe responded: “While the dissertation-as-proto monograph pipeline is well established, there isn’t something similar for digital projects.” In fact, creators of digital projects often face significant barriers to publishing in traditional scholarly outlets. Many digital projects don’t work as journal articles or books. Interactive and multimedia elements do not translate well to the printed page, and projects that have nonlinear narrative structures or modes of argumentation often don’t fit the expectations of the discipline.

Making Connections: Digital History at AHA17

How can digital tools help historians make sense of the Ottoman world, with its 25 languages, 8 alphabets, and a timespan of over 600 years? This is the question posed by the Digital Ottoman Platform (DOP) project, a collaborative effort of scholars working to create, among other resources, a gazetteer of the Ottoman world. The gazetteer will be “an essential tool for studying social and spatial networks in the Ottoman realm.” 

Googling History: The AHR Explores Implications of Using Digital Sources for Historians

The April issue of the American Historical Review inaugurates a new listing of digital primary sources. This feature serves as a preliminary guide to freely accessible online collections that will grow with each issue. We encourage readers to use this form to submit their own favorite digital primary-source archival collections for listing in future issues. As Lara Putnam argues in her article “The Transnational and the Text-Searchable: Digitized Sources and the Shadows They Cast” in the same issue, historians should be more aware of the implications of using these kinds of sources for the stories we tell about the past.