Saturday, January 9, 2016: 3:30 PM
Room A704 (Atlanta Marriott Marquis)
Patrick R. Potyondy, Ohio State University
Leticia Wiggins, Ohio State University
Nicholas Breyfogle and Steven Conn launched the online publication Origins: Current Events in Historical Perspective more than seven years ago. Its aim has been to make historical insights relevant to today’s issues. Origins hopes to make us all—from the person on the street, to the policymaker in Washington—more informed, engaged citizens. It has expanded steadily and now reaches 50,000 visits per month with an annual growth rate between 20 to 25 percent.

The Department of History at Ohio State University has been steadily increasing support for Origins in large part by committing funds to hire graduate associates to work as an integral part of the editorial team, anchored by Professors Breyfogle and Conn. Their digital publication has thus developed to include not only a variety of written and visual resources (including longform articles, book reviews, Top Ten lists, and more) but also the podcast History Talk, which is cross-posted on the news website Fair Observer and also airs on the local NPR-affiliate WCBE in Columbus, Ohio.

Origins offers a variety of opportunities for Ohio State’s history graduate students. Those students who work directly on the Origins staff gain editorial experience of all kinds, including digital, traditional, and managerial. And the publication also presents a venue for other graduate students across the department to publish book reviews and essays on the site, or to appear on podcast episodes, all of which requires a different voice (and reaches a much larger audience) than their traditional, academic work. Among many more things, Origins prepares graduate students for the non-academic job market.

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