Graduate Certificate in Digital Public Humanities

Anita Leonard, 2016

Anita Leonard

What work are you doing now?

A high school English teacher in California where I teach American Literature, AP Language, AP Literature, and AP Research courses.


Why did you choose to pursue the certificate in Digital Public Humanities?

The Digital Public Humanities certificate at GMU intrigued me with its innovative approach to humanities. I was interested in exploring the crossroads of digital tools, history, arts, and literature to see how I may implement them in my teaching practice. In addition, I wanted to further develop my skills in using digital tools to pursue my own research of literary projects.


What knowledge or skills from the program have been particularly valuable to you?

The DPH program allowed me to expend my knowledge of historical thinking, gain valuable experience using digital tools, and try out these fresh skills at the Smithsonian Institute and the RRCHNM internships. The use of digital tools, such as WordPress, Omeka, Voyant, CartoDB, and Palladio have increased my ability to create projects that combine history and literature to examine connections and raise questions for analysis. In one of the DPH courses, I researched and compiled documents to create a website (Pilot's Log at Mesa del Rey) for a long forgotten Flight School in a small California town that existed during WWII, which is now linked on the local museum, MCARLM, website. My AP Language students have used this site in combination with another project to work on a follow up activity after the reading of Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. Furthermore, because of the DPH program, I am working on a creative research project to map John Steinbeck's East of Eden.