Tag Archives: Athens of the New South

HIST689 Introduction

I am looking forward to taking HIST 689 with Dr. Kelly as the final online course for the post-graduate certificate in Digital Humanities through George Mason University.

In the first two courses I gained a real sense of the trends, direction, and scope of Digital Humanities. In addition to technical expertise, the courses also provided meaningful readings and activities. I hope that this class will further add to this new base of knowledge and skill.

Professionally, I juggle several different roles. I am a secondary school educator at the Harpeth Hall School where I also serve as the archivist. I also teach as an adjunct at Belmont University in the Honors program as well as the Global Leadership studies department. Most recently I taught an interdisciplinary class entitled “Making the Modern City.” In the last several years, I have also added author to my list of professional achievements. This fall will bear the fruit of two and a half years of research and work with the release of two books. Athens of the New South: College Life and Making Modern Nashville will be published by University of Tennessee Press and A Heartfelt Mission: A History of the West End Home Foundation published by Orange Frazer Press. Adding my GMU coursework on top of my day job and writing this past year was a challenge but well worth the time and effort. Next year I will add Digital Humanities Coordinator to my list of duties at Harpeth Hall, and I will be continuing the development of my project from Dr. Leon’s class in partnership with the Metropolitan Historical Commission. The project, Nashville Sites, will be modeled on the History of the National Mall project and will initially launch this fall with continued development (and funding, fingers crossed) in 2018.

I look forward to this course, and I hope to find a way to incorporate and tailor my work in HIST694 to further Nashville Sites as well as my work with teachers (as Digital Humanities Coordinator) at Harpeth Hall.

Digital Public History Introduction

Hello HIST694! I am excited for this course and post this entry as an introduction. Interestingly, I was recently asked to update my biography for Belmont University, where I serve as an adjunct professor. Here is an excerpt that provides some background information about my professional work and interests.

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Author, scholar, and educator Mary Ellen Pethel received her BA from the University of Tennessee, MEd from Berry College, and PhD from George State University. A lifelong learner, Dr. Pethel is completing a post-graduate certificate in Digital Humanities through George Mason University. At Belmont University she teaches in the Honors Program as well as Global Leadership Studies including interdisciplinary courses such as “The Age of Exploration,” “Making the Modern American City,” “Global Cities and Urban Spaces,” and “Introduction to Global Leadership.”

In addition, she is a teaching faculty member and the school archivist at the Harpeth Hall School, which celebrates a shared history with Belmont University from 1913 to 1951 as Ward-Belmont. This shared history was part of a recent book, Girls Education from Ward Seminary to Harpeth Hall, 1865 to 2015. Dr. Pethel’s newest book expands on the scope and sequence of higher education and the role of higher education in urban development. Athens of the New South: College Life and the Making of Modern Nashville, published in 2017 by the University of Tennessee Press.

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Digital Humanities is a still a relatively new field, not available when I was completing my PhD coursework, but the DH have always been of interest to me. It is for this reason that I remain grateful for the post-grad opportunity to gain meaningful training and experience through GMU and the RRCHNM. Meanwhile, my interest in Public History has long played a role in my educational and professional career. My goal for this semester is simple: to continue the work and experiential learning that began with HIST680. Let the work begin.