This week's curator is also based in the USA but we're heading from the city to the woods. Jeff teaches and researches surrounded by STEM work - I'm looking forward to hearing about whether the distinction is maintained as well as getting a musical education. Thanks for joining us, Jeff!
Hi! I’m Jeff Schramm, @DrJSchramm an associate professor of History at Missouri University of Science and Technology @MissouriSandT. S&T, as we call it, is a technological research university similar to MIT or Cal Tech. While we are known for our STEM majors I’m part of a vibrant History and Political Science department. I’m an historian of technology, especially modern industrial technology like railroads, automobiles, steel mills, mines, etc. I teach a broad survey course on the history of technology from pointed sticks to the internet and also a course on the history of architecture from 1750 to the present. The vast majority of my students are undergraduate engineering majors but we do have some history majors here at S&T.
My first big research project was a book on the transition from steam to diesel motive power on the railroads of the United States. I’m currently researching the US Bureau of Mines. I’m also involved in eLearning efforts and teach a hybrid or blended course where substantial content is delivered online but we still meet once a week. I love learning about how we all learn and hope to incorporate more of this knowledge into my courses.
My university is in a small, rural Missouri town which affords me the opportunity to live in the woods. I’ve always enjoyed the natural world and have very fond memories of camping trips as a child. There’s something very primal about a wood fire. We installed a woodstove a few years ago and almost always have a fire going in the cold weather. I also enjoy music and host a weekly radio show on our local student run station, KMNR. You can even listen to me online Wednesdays from 10-11am central time at kmnr.org. I play an eclectic mix centered around adult album alternative/singer songwriter genres with a healthy dose of classic rock and early 1980’s new wave and post punk.
I grew up in the deindustrializing working class suburbs of Chicago. Seeing the closing factories and the rusting railroads led me down the path of examining why those industries developed and situated themselves there to begin with, who worked there, what they did, and why the industries went into decline. I went to graduate school at Lehigh University @Lehigh in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, a town that experienced the closing of fabled Bethlehem Steel when I was there in grad school. Something about declining industrial towns resonates in my soul. I don’t feel really at home unless I’m near a railroad or some rusting metal.
I’m looking forward to curating @wethehumanities and hope to get some good discussions going on archives and libraries, public outreach, STEM and the humanities, and of course, railroads and music. Just a warning, I may mention cats too.