Professor brings past to life with today's digital tools

September 26, 2013

As an urban historian with who specializes in digital and public history, Mark Tebeau is helping bring the past to life for cities and cultural organizations throughout the country, using today’s digital tools. In the process he is engaging citizens, building public audiences for history.

An associate professor of history in the School of History, Philosophy and Religious Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Tebeau recently helped develop a framework for mobile publishing that is being licensed worldwide to help communities, preservationists and scholars publish location-based content on cities and landscapes through mobile apps. Mark Tebeau Download Full Image

As founding director of the Center for Public History and Digital History at Cleveland State University, Tebeau led a team that developed Curatescape, which is being used by more than 20 organizations throughout the country, including the Smithsonian Gardens. The project was funded by the National Institute for the Humanities.

Citizens and others produce stories about their cities, linking them to the site. Of the more than 500 stories on the Cleveland Historical mobile app (, more than half were created by undergraduates in Tebeau’s classes.

“My hope is that research will help to transform how our society learns, explores and represents its historical understandings,” says Tebeau. “I also hope that by making these projects community focused, we’ll encourage a deeper engagement in civic life.”

A graduate of the University of Chicago and Carnegie Mellon, Tebeau says he came to ASU to serve as director of public history because of its commitment to innovation and entrepreneurial scholarship. He hopes to work with ASU students on collaborative research, obtaining a deeper understanding of the Salt River Valley.

“Great teaching is about building great collaborative projects, engaging students in real-world research and experiential learning. This builds the skills necessary to engage in a variety of exciting careers in diverse fields ranging from marketing and advertising to consulting and policymaking or to digital production and museums.”

Emma Greguska

Reporter, ASU Now

(480) 965-9657

Academy-Award winning musician Buffy Sainte-Marie to speak at Ortiz/Labriola lecture

September 26, 2013

Academy-Award winning musician and activist Buffy Sainte-Marie will headline the Simon Ortiz and Labriola Center Lecture on Indigenous Land, Culture and Community at 7 p.m., Oct. 10, at the Heard Museum in Phoenix.

Sainte-Marie, a Canadian native, describes herself as a “natural musician,” whose love for music and pictures began at the age of three. Over the years she has crossed many genres, including rock, pop, powwow and folk. Heavy industry hitters such as Elvis Presley, Neil Diamond, Janis Joplin and Chet Atkins have covered her songs. Download Full Image

“I think songs are born themselves and sort of fall into appropriate genres after the fact, depending on the style of the singer. Some of my songs escape the genre bins completely and are absolutely original, like 'God Is Alive' and 'Disinformation.' 'Darling Don't Cry' and 'Starwalker' sure blew a lot of record business minds because those guys had never listened to powwow before,” she said.

Her latest CD, “Running for the Drum,” won a Juno Award (Canadian Grammy) in 2009, and in September of the same year, she was inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame. Sainte-Marie is also the recipient of two Aboriginal People’s Choice Music Awards – including one for Lifetime Achievement – and six honorary doctorates in art, letters, music and law from various Canadian institutions.

Her band is currently on tour in Canada, but she will be making a special stop in Phoenix for the Ortiz/Labriola lecture. Audience members will be treated to a discussion she has titled “Detoxifying Aboriginal Self-perception and Outward Identity.” This includes musings on music, art, dance, Sesame Street and more.

Fans may also attend a special meet-and-greet with Sainte-Marie earlier in the day at 10:30 a.m., in Hayden Library on the Tempe campus. Both events are free and open to the public.

For more information, please visit the Department of English website.