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Historian’s Eye

Screenshot of Historian's Eye websiteBeginning in 2009 as an effort to capture the historic moment of President Obama’s inauguration in photographs and interviews, Professor Matt Jacobson’s Historian’s Eye project has evolved into a website presenting a collection of 1000+ photographs and an audio archive addressing Obama’s first term in office, the 2008 economic collapse, two wars, the raucous politics of healthcare reform, the emergence of a new right-wing formation in opposition to Obama, the politics of immigration, Wall Street reform, the BP oil spill, and the seeming escalation of anti-Muslim sentiment nationwide. In addition to catching these moments like fireflies in a mason jar, the project seeks to encourage a new relationship to history itself—a mental habit of apprehending the past in the present and history-in-the-making.

Professor Jacobson has introduced the Historian’s Eye website as a primary source in his Formation of American Culture challenging his students to similarly pursue this kind of relationship with history. The Instructional Technology group worked with Professor Jacobson to produce the website and explore how it is used in his teaching.


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