This week we bid bon voyage to two of our graduate research assistants, Laura Brannan Fretwell and Caroline Greer. But it’s a happy bon voyage because Laura and Caroline are leaving RRCHNM to go spend three months at the Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History (C2DH). During their residency in Luxembourg, Laura and Caroline will be working closely with faculty at C2DH on digital projects there and will be sharing what they’ve learned here at RRCHNM with their new colleagues and friends.
This wonderful opportunity for our students is made possible by funding from the University of Luxembourg and grew out of an idea first proposed by our former colleague Sean Takats, now at the University of Luxembourg in 2019. Laura and Caroline will be embedded in Sean’s team at C2DH, which will be a fantastic opportunity for both of them. We’re looking forward to welcoming students and postdocs from UL this year, and the C2DH director Professor Andreas Fickers will be here soon for several weeks of collaboration.
As with so many things in our world these past few years, the program was supposed to begin in 2020, but was put on hold because of COVID-19. Now, we’re back in business. Next year we will send a third student on to C2DH as part of this agreement. This exchange is the most important pillar of our emerging web of international partnerships.
Laura and Caroline are two of our advanced PhD students and they have really developed as digital scholars since enrolling at Mason. Laura has served as the project coordinator and Omeka S trainer for the HBCU History Culture and Access Consortium project with the Smithsonian’s Office of Strategic Partnerships, and Caroline has served as the project manager for American Religious Ecologies. Both are also talented historians in their own right. We will miss them around RRCHNM, but we are excited to see all that they learn and accomplish working at and with our colleagues at C2DH over the next three months.