Out of the frying pan

…and into the fire! I think Tolkien accurately sums up the transition from undergrad to graduate studies with this chapter title from The Hobbit. Fortunately I have this blog which provides me a space to catalogue my experiences as a graduate student within the MA Public History Program at Western. I am Henrietta Roi and I am originally from Ottawa. I graduated from Queen’s University in 2018 with my BAH in Art History. Outside of school I worked as an interpreter at Fort Henry National Historic Site and volunteered with the Kingston Association of Museums. This experience allowed me to be introduced, albeit unknowingly, to the field of public history.

I am comforted in knowing I am not alone in feeling overwhelmed and that this is quite a common occurrence. But I also know I will need a space to visualize my ideas and physically write out how I am feeling as I approach certain projects. The prospect of undertaking projects that involve actual community interaction has me extremely excited.

Now that I am beginning my studies it seems that public history is inescapable. One aspect of the discipline I had not considered until looking over course options was digital public history. Once again, I feel I have interacted with digital public history in various ways unknowingly. For example, in December 2017 I was able to watch the Halifax Explosion as re-created by CBC in a 360 video (Link below). The experiment was an interesting way of re-examining the event in a digitally legible format. Now that I am beginning my courses I realize that compatibility is an increasingly big issue within the digital public history sphere. In the case of this video I ended up watching it because my parents were trying to watch it and could only get it to work on my computer.

One thing I hope to be able to integrate is my Art History background. I am already sure that it will assist me in a few areas of study as I am sure I will explain later. The digital public history course also consists of a few creative projects so I am looking forward to those as well. Luckily, there is also the McIntosh Gallery on campus that I have already had the privilege of visiting and am sure I will visit again.

As a way to wrap up this week I will leave you with a tune that sums up my initial feeling of being overwhelmed as I look towards what I’m sure promises to be an exciting year:

One thought on “Out of the frying pan

  1. Another Art History person, yay! 🙂 This was a great read Hetty – I particularly liked the CBC link; I’ve never seen that video before and its a great example of digital public history! You mention the problem of compatibility being an issue at times with digital media, which I think is something almost everyone can relate to even outside of public history.


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