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Hi there! I'm Ben Schultz, the administrator and founder of Bluepages, and this is my personal user page. I am a public historian who graduated in 2022 from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. My pronouns are he/him. If you'd like to contact me with any questions or concerns, you can reach me by email or on my talk page.

My philosophy in creating Bluepages[edit | edit source]

I created Bluepages out of a desire to share and preserve local knowledge, and to establish what I consider a new (but not entirely original) field of research. By analogy with genealogy, I call this research platiology.[1] Genealogy (which I have plenty of experience with) is not just the study of people, but the study of the connections and relationships between people, and of the impacts they have on others. In much the same way, I hope that platiology will emerge as not just the study of places, but the study of the connections and relationships between places, and of the impacts they have on society. Bluepages is meant to be a single, consistent place to collect this research, where anyone with the time and will to do so can be a platiologist.

In my experience, the quality of any collaborative work is in direct proportion to the scrutiny it receives, by which I mean that the work has a lot of eyeballs on it, coming from all kinds of different backgrounds, but all of them thinking critically about what they're reading and how to improve it. For that reason, I think the best thing you can do to help Bluepages succeed is to tell your friends, your colleagues, and anyone you think will be interested.

“Digital curation is, and should be, more than merely aggregating content or crowdsourcing the production of knowledge, both of which have been fetishized by the technologists promoting the digital age. In a world where the volume of information being produced is extraordinary, we must find new ways to make sense of that data, especially because this era of "big data" has not necessarily improved our ability to analyze and interpret information, although it holds many promises.” — Mark Tebeau[2]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. As of August 8, 2020, the only correctly identified use of the word "platiology" that Google can find is in Labyrinth of Hybridities: Avatars of O'Neillian Realism in Multi-ethnic American Drama (1972-2003), a 2010 book by Marc Maufort, which states on page 141 that Christy Stanlake's 2009 book Native American Drama: A Critical Perspective "articulates a theory of Native platiology, which privileges the political, 'signifying' power of specific places over the abstract and generic concept of space." Credit where credit is due, I'm evidently not the first person to coin this term.
  2. Tebeau, Mark. "Listening to the City: Oral History and Place in the Digital Era", The Oral History Review, volume 40, no. 1 (winter/spring 2013), pp. 25-35.