Sharon Leon

Sharon M. Leon is an Associate Professor of History and Digital Humanities at Michigan State University. Dr. Leon received her bachelor of arts degree in American Studies from Georgetown University in 1997 and her doctorate in American Studies from the University of Minnesota in 2004. Her first book, An Image of God: the Catholic Struggle with Eugenics, was published by the University of Chicago Press. Her work has appeared in the William & Mary Quarterly, The Public Historian, Church History, the U.S. Catholic Historian, the Journal of the History of Medicine and Other Allied Sciences, and in numerous edited collections. Prior to joining the History Department at MSU, Dr. Leon spent over thirteen years at George Mason University’s History Department at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media as Director of Public Projects, where she oversaw dozens of award-winning collaborations with library, museum, and archive partners from around the country. Dr. Leon’s program of research focuses on two areas. First, she is an historian of American religion with a concentration on U.S. Catholicism. In tune with this research, she is at work on a digital project to surface and analyze the community networks and experiences of the cohort of people enslaved and sold by the Maryland Province Jesuits in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries. Second, she specializes in digital methods with a focus on public history. Thus, she is building a major methodological project on doing community-engaged digital public history. Currently, Dr. Leon directs a number of externally-funded digital humanities research and software projects. She is the principal investigator of the On These Grounds project, a Andrew W. Mellon Foundation funded initiative to create and disseminated a linked data model to describe the historical events arising from the participation of colleges and universities in slavery. Dr. Leon directs the Omeka web-publishing platform project, which provides a number of open-source options for digital scholarly communication and public engagement work: Omeka Classic, Omeka S (for linked data work), and (for a hosted solution). In conjunction with this work, Dr. Leon serves as the Vice President of the Corporation for Digital Scholarship, the non-profit organization dedicated to the development and sustainability of software and services for researchers and cultural heritage institutions. Digital Scholar is the sustainability home of Zotero, Omeka, Tropy, and other open source software.

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