2014 Student Research Conference:
27th Annual Undergraduate and 12th Annual Graduate Research Conference

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Plenary Address

Jeffrey McClurken
Chair and Professor of History and American Studies, University of Mary Washington

Students as Digitally Enabled Scholars: Undergraduate Research in the Information Age


It is an exciting time to be a learner and a scholar.  Digital technologies allow us access to more information than any previous generation. But more than just access, digital tools also provide learners at all levels with new ways to create and present original research. The emerging fields of Digital History, Digital Humanities, and the Digital Liberal Arts represent important frontiers for teaching, learning, and scholarship, and not just for large research universities or for graduate students.  Public liberal arts institutions like Truman State, the University of Mary Washington and other COPLAC schools are particularly suited to incorporate digital tools in the humanities and beyond given our focus on the undergraduate research experience. In this talk we will explore what opportunities exist in the digital realm for undergraduate students and faculty to be active participants in the consumption, analysis, and creation of knowledge, transcending the traditional closed circle of classroom knowledge production.

Jeffrey W. McClurken is Professor and Chair of History and American Studies at the University of Mary Washington. His PhD in American History is from Johns Hopkins University. Dr. McClurken’s research areas include the history of the Civil War, veterans, families, the Pinkertons, mental institutions, the 19th-Century American South, and the digital humanities. He teaches classes on a wide array of US History topics, including Civil War and Reconstruction, American technology and culture, digital history, women's history, and history & film.  The Princeton Review named him one of The Best 300 Professors in 2012 and his lectures and classes have been featured on C-SPAN and NPR’s With Good Reason. This spring he is team-teaching Century America, a class that engages students from ten COPLAC institutions in creating a digital project examining the experiences of Americans during the Great War.  He has written numerous essays for the Chronicle of Higher Education’s ProfHacker column and has articles in several publications related to teaching with technology. His book, Take Care of the Living: Reconstructing the Confederate Veteran Family in Virginia, was published by the University of Virginia Press in 2009.  Information about his teaching and research can be found at http://mcclurken.org/


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