I’m David McKenzie, digital and public historian.
By day I work as the Digital Projects Manager at Ford’s Theatre, where I am coordinating the planning of an online collection of responses to President Lincoln’s assassination and generally working on digital projects within the Education Department.
By night I’m a History Ph.D. student in the Department of History and Art History at George Mason University. My major field is United States history, and my minor fields are Latin America & the World and digital history. I’m especially interested in the 18th and 19th centuries in the Americas, especially the United States and Mexico.
Professionally, I am seeking to place myself at the intersection of academic, digital, and public history. I’m interested in researching and conveying history with multiple audiences in multiple formats.
For more on my career trajectory, you can visit my LinkedIn page.
My planned dissertation will examine U.S. and Mexican visitors to each others’ countries during the decades leading to the U.S.-Mexican War of 1846. During that period, the two countries’ relationship deteriorated at an official and a cultural level. Yet in the early 19th century–particularly after Mexico’s War of Independence began in 1810–people from the United States and what became Mexico visited each others’ countries frequently, as merchants, soldiers, diplomats, exiles, expatriates, or plain old travelers. My dissertation will focus on that relationship on the ground. How did the experiences of individuals–particularly in the cores of each country–reinforce, or deviate from, the trajectory toward war? What did these individuals experience?
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