Students, Alumna Give Presentations at First Ever Online History Conference

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,

May 2, 2006 – Have online access. Will travel to conference… virtually.

Eight students and an alumna from Southeast Missouri State University did just that last week when they delivered presentations at the first ever entirely online American Association for History and Computing (AAHC) Conference.

“It is a pretty big deal and a pretty exciting development for the profession,” said Dr. Steven Hoffman, coordinator of the Historic Preservation Program and associate professor of history at Southeast Missouri State University.

The Southeast contingent contributed to the conference with streaming video presentations, e-posters, and papers and presentations. Thanks to help from Southeast’s Center for Scholarship in Teaching and Learning, which hosted their work, the contributions of Southeast representatives could be viewed online by other conference participants.

Streaming video presentations, which were narrated PowerPoint presentations streamed online, included “Buckminster Fuller: Home, Home in Dome” by William Gatlin of Belleville, Ill., and “Architectural Significance on the Move: Mobile Homes Across America” by Elisabeth Murphy of Ferguson, Mo., Catherine Myers of Jackson, Mo., and Julie Wooldridge of St. Charles, Mo.

E-posters presented, which were Web sites with links to detailed information from splash pages,  included “The South and the Shotgun House: Continuing a Vernacular Tradition” by Lauren Miller of Caruthersville, Mo.; “Redefining America: Artists, Society and the Post Office Murals and Sculpture of Southeast Missouri 1939-1942” by Ellen Ryan of Queensbury, N.Y.; “Party Privacy: Concerns with Gay and Lesbian Archives” by Lisa Graham, a Southeast alumna; “Resurrecting the Past: Slavery in Mississippi County, Missouri 1817-1865” by Andrea McEntire of Cape Girardeau; and “Public Health or Private Profit?: The Little River Drainage District of Southeast Missouri” by Ben Simmons of Hammond, Ind.

Hoffman, who serves on the AAHC Board, contributed to the conference as well with a paper and streaming video presentation titled “Community Building Comes to the South: The Development of Gentilly Terrace, ‘Where Homes are Built on Hills'” and “Encouraging Faculty Involvement in Online Teaching: A Look at the Perils and Prospects.”

“I think the students really enjoyed it,” Hoffman said, adding this was AAHC’s first attempt at a fully online conference.

AAHC is an affiliated organization of the American Historical Association.

“This organization wanted to make that first step and put it out there,” Hoffman said. “I imagine you will see more of this in the future.”

Those who paid registration fees had access to a secure online conference site where they could view the work of other participants. Support for the work of Southeast students was provided by the Historic Preservation Program, the Department of History, the Center for Scholarship in Teaching and Learning and deans of the School of Graduate Studies and the College of Liberal Arts.