Jean Bauer

Jean Bauer builds and reveals data structures drawing on her background in database development, photography, and early American history. A data designer and full-stack python developer, Bauer works as a freelance consultant, helping individual clients find meaningful answers in messy data as well as organizations that seek to generate knowledge through providing better access to data and resources. From 2014-2019 Bauer managed the Center for Digital Humanities at Princeton, first as Associate Director and later as the inaugural Research Director. Prior to working at Princeton she was the Digital Humanities Librarian at Brown University from 2011-2014. Bauer is a graduate of the University of Chicago (A.B.) and the University of Virginia (M.A. and PhD), where she developed and built The Early American Foreign Service Database (, which she used to do analysis for her dissertation “Republicans of Letters: The Early American Foreign Service as Information Network, 1775-1825.” She blogs and tweets at and @jean_bauer, respectively. Bauer was also one of the instructors at the 2014 Northeastern University workshop. She will be teaching about data creation and cleaning at this institute.

Brandan Buck

Brandan P. Buck is a third year PhD student at George Mason University and Digital History Fellow at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media. During his coursework he has applied digital methods to the study of military and U.S. political history. In particular, he has used spatial and computational methods to analyze and reconstruct the Allied naval campaign in the Pacific theatre during World War II. His work contributed to an educational website, Unrestricted: The Campaign to Sink the Japanese Merchant Fleet During World War II.

Brandan’s current dissertation research examines the evolution of military and foreign policy attitudes within the Democratic and Republican parties between 1934 and 1992. His research uses computational methods to analyze congressional voting records with a focus on the decline of noninterventionism within the Republican right. Brandan has also published two academic articles on U.S. foreign policy, one concerning U.S.- Afghan relations and another on the U.S. government’s use of Jazz as a diplomatic tool during the Cold War.

Before attending GMU, Brandan was employed as an imagery and geospatial targeting analyst with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. He previously served with the United States Army and Virginia Army National Guard and has completed multiple tours of duty to Afghanistan as both an infantryman and intelligence professional. Brandan will serve as an assistant instructor for mapping for the institute.

Christopher Hamner

Christopher Hamner is an Associate Professor of History at George Mason University who specializes in American military history. An honors graduate of Dartmouth College, he earned his PhD at the University of North Carolina. His first book, Enduring Battle: American Soldiers in Three Wars, 1776-1945, examines the changing experience of ground combat from the War for Independence to the Civil War to the Second World War, focusing on ways that individual soldiers’ motivations to withstand the trauma of combat evolved as technological advances recast the battlefield. Christopher serves as concentration head for the interdisciplinary MA program War and the Military in Society, a graduate program that approaches questions related to peace, war, and security from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. From 2014 to 2016 he served as a Visiting Professor at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Hamner received George Mason’s Teaching Excellence Award in 2013.

In addition, Christopher serves as Editor-in-Chief of the [Papers of the War Department 1784-1800](, an innovative online archive that recreates the files of the original War Office, destroyed by fire in autumn 1800. Mason’s Center for History and New Media has hosted the site, which features a growing index and high-resolution images of more than 45,000 documents from early American history, since 2006. He has served as Lead Historian for a half-dozen Teaching American History grants and currently serves as historian for the World War I Centennial Commission’s teacher workshop and the American Battle Monument Commission’s “Understanding Sacrifice” program. He will be instructing about digital history and about project management for this institute.

Jason Heppler

Dr. Jason A. Heppler is the Digital Engagement Librarian and Assistant Professor of History (by courtesy) at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and a Researcher with Stanford University’s Humanities + Design. He is a historian of the 20th century North American West, with particular interests in politics, cities, and environmental history. His first book, Suburban by Nature: Silicon Valley and the Transformation of American Environmental Politics, explores the postwar growth of Silicon Valley and the ways that urban growth not only led to ecological disaster but introduced social inequality. While Silicon Valley’s high-tech companies were imagined as a clean and green alternative to industrialization, the growth, manufacturing, and economic activity introduced challenges to the region’s wildlife and its residents. Prior to joining UNO, Heppler led digital history initiatives at Stanford University. Heppler will be teaching about visualizations at this institute.

Abby Mullen, institute director

Abby Mullen is a term assistant professor at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. She is PI and project manager for Tropy, a Mellon-funded software project to help researchers organize and describe their research photos. She is also the host and executive producer of Consolation Prize, a podcast about the history of the United States in the world through the eyes of its consuls. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses at GMU about digital methods and military history. She received her PhD from Northeastern University in 2017; her dissertation was entitled “Good Neighbourhood with All: Conflict and Cooperation in the First Barbary War, 1801-1805″; her book based on her dissertation in under contract with Johns Hopkins University Press. She was the grant writer and project director for the NEH-funded Digital Methods for Military History workshop at Northeastern University in October 2014.

Ben Schmidt

Benjamin Schmidt is a Clinical Associate Professor of History and Director of Digital Humanities at New York University. His research interests are in the digital humanities and the intellectual and cultural history of the United States in the 19th and 20th centuries. His digital humanities research focuses on large-scale text analysis, humanities data visualization, and the challenges and opportunities of reading data itself as a historical source. His current project, Creating Data, explores practices of data collection in the 19th century American state through archival research, visualization, and re-analysis of historical data. He also contributes to popular conversations on topics including higher education in the United States, computational detection of anachronisms in historical fiction, and the “crisis” of the humanities.

He has a Ph.D. and M.A. in history from Princeton University, and an A.B. in Social Studies from Harvard University. Further information is available at

Allison Stowers

Allison Stowers is a third year PhD student at George Mason University. She serves on the board of the McCormick Civil War Institute at Shenandoah University, and her historical research focuses on religion, race, and sexuality in nineteenth century U.S., including contraception and sexual norms during the Civil War. She earned her Masters of Education from Shenandoah University in 2018 with a focus in higher education.

Allison’s current research includes minor fields in Religious History and Digital and Public History. Her dissertation research examines questions of religion, sex, and gender in Appalachia with a focus on digital accessibility and ethics. Stowers is a GRA for the institute.