I study how people have constructed--physically and metaphorically--the urban environment in which they live. I am completing a book manuscript in which I explore how urban memorials and public art reveal the changing nature of cities and community identity in the twentieth century. The Cleveland Cultural Gardens and Northern Ohio's vernacular landscape serve as a lens through which to refract a broader story of changing urban landscapes across the nation. I am also researching air racing, exploring how Americans constructed identity, risk, and spectacle in the first half of the twentieth century.
I co-direct the Center for Public History + Digital Humanities and co-direct the History Department's social studies program. Over the years, we've done lots of great public projects, outlined below. Presently, we're working on an Omeka-based mobile publishing framework (Curatescape) that we use to power Cleveland Historical.
In my courses, I use the regional urban environment as a research laboratory in my courses. Recently, in conjunction with undergraduates and regional teachers, and colleagues, I developed a website devoted to the history Cleveland Cultural Gardens. Currently, students in my courses are contributing to the Euclid Corridor Transportation Project in collaboration with Cleveland Public Art, ideastream and the Greater Cleveland Regional Transportation Authority. We have crafted a parallel oral history project. To date, we have collected over 300 oral histories. Moveover, in conjunction with our partners, we are interpreting the region's history in multimedia stories that will appear in interactive, multimedia kiosks located along Euclid Avenue in 2009. We demonstrated a prototype of the kiosksat the Ingenuity Festival in 2007.
I live in Chagrin Falls (where I am told that the "unknown don't even go") with my partner Kristin, two children, and two dogss. I have begun epxerimenting with editing audio clips for presentation on the web.
For fun, years ago, I recorded my daughter asking, "what did you have for lunch today?" Click to find out!.
I asked my much younger son to tell me about his life; hear our surprising and brief discussion.
Department of History
Rhodes Tower 1908
2121 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland State University
Cleveland, OH 44115-2214
Urban & Environmental History
19th & 20th Century U.S. Social History
Public History, Oral History, Historical Methods
Phone: (216) 687-3937
Fax: (216) 687-5592