Hello everyone! My name is Kieran Shakeshaft and I am currently a junior history major. I have always had a profound love for history ever since I was a child growing up in the U.K and Chicago. As a kid some of my fondest childhood memories are raiding the history section of my local library or dragging my parents to the local history museum anytime they were willing to indulge my obsession. I enjoy exploring all eras and periods of human history, however if I had to designate my favorite “genres” I would most certainly have to say Medieval Europe, the Cold War era, or post-colonial African history. That being said I have recently been quite intrigued by 20th century Chinese history and World War I era America! Anyway, when I am not in the library with my nose buried in a book I can be found over at the Chipotle in Marlborough making guacamole or rolling burritos. Apart from history or Mexican cuisine, some of my other interest include playing guitar, listening to metal (Iron Maiden is my favorite band), or hanging out with my girlfriend and her blind cat.
I have decided to take this history course because it is an area of history that I believe to be of the utmost importance, but unfortunately I have next to zero knowledge on it. I am looking forward to studying how media has changed throughout America’s history and how it has impacted society. Specifically, I am excited to learn about how changes in media technology have transformed American culture and the lives of everyday people. I am also hoping to understand the possible positive and negative effects that the evolution of media technology has had on how we live our lives. As much as I love my smartphone and Facebook, I can’t help but wonder if these new forms of communication have caused my generation to become anti-social. In an age where text conversations have usurped face to face encounters as the primary medium of communication, I worry that perhaps we have become more reclusive as a species and worry what the long term impacts could be on American society. On a side note I am also very interested to study how television as a media and communications technology has effected America; particularly how it impacts our exposure to international news and pop-culture. Overall I am looking forward to this class and meeting and working with all of my fellow history students and enthusiasts! See you all in class!