American Social History Project • Center for Media and Learning

Steve Brier: Building Public Education and Democratizing Our Many Pasts

A symposium to honor and explore Steve Brier’s many contributions to the Graduate Center and CUNY, his work and role shaping the American Social History Project/Center for Media and Learning, Digital Humanities, Interactive Technology and Pedagogy Program, and the School of Labor and Urban Studies.


May 19, 2022


The People's Forum




  • Pennee Bender​
  • Provost Steve Everett

Panel 1 - Who Built America? and Labor Studies

  • ASHP Presentation: Josh Brown, Josh Freeman, Pennee Bender
  • Ferdinando Fasce (via Zoom)
  • Ellen Dichner (via Zoom)

Panel 2 - Digital Humanities

  • Matt Gold (host)
  • Kathleen Fitzpatrick (via Zoom)
  • Dan Cohen (via Zoom)
  • Roxanne Shirazi

Panel 3 - Interactive Technology & Pedagogy

  • Michael Mandiberg
  • Kimon Keramides
  • Sonia González (via Zoom)
  • Luke Waltzer

All panels will be followed with time for comments/questions from the audience



Pennee Bender is Associate Director of the American Social History Project/Center for Media and Learning and on the faculty of the Interactive Technology and Pedagogy Program. She was co-producer of three Who Built America? documentaries and the second CD-ROM, managing editor of the third edition of the Who Built America? textbook, and is co-director of Who Built America? An Open Educational Resource.

Joshua Brown is professor of history emeritus at the CUNY Graduate Center. He was the creative director of the American Social History Project from 1981 to 1998, and then succeeded Steve Brier as ASHP executive director until he retired in 2019. He is currently writing a history of the visual culture of the American Civil War.

Dan Cohen is the Vice Provost for Information Collaboration, Dean of the Library, and Professor of History at Northeastern University. Prior to his tenure at Northeastern, he was the founding Executive Director of the Digital Public Library of America. Before helping to launch DPLA, Dan proudly worked at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media with Roy and so many wonderful collaborators near and far, including Steve Brier.

Ellen Dichner is distinguished lecturer at CUNY School of Labor & Urban Studies.​ She is a labor lawyer who has represented unions and worker groups in the New York City area for several decades. During the Obama administration, she served as chief counsel to the chairman of the National Labor Relations Board.

Ferdinando Fasce, former professor of Modern History at the University of Genoa, has been a recipient of the Organization of American Historians Foreign-Language Book Prize and, with Stephen Brier, of the CLR James Award of the Working-Class Studies Association. His publications include An American Family. The Great War and Corporate Culture in America (Ohio State University Press, 2002).

Kathleen Fitzpatrick is Director of Digital Humanities and Professor of English at Michigan State University. She is project director of Humanities Commons, an open-access, open-source network serving more than 30,000 scholars and practitioners across the humanities and around the world. Her most recent book is Generous Thinking: A Radical Approach to Saving the University.

Joshua B. Freeman. Until his retirement in 2021, Josh was Distinguished Professor of History at Queens College, the Graduate Center, and the School of Labor and Urban Studies. From 1984 to 1986 he was on the staff of the American Social History Project, serving as lead author of volume 2 of Who Built America?

Matthew K. Gold is Associate Professor of English and Digital Humanities at The CUNY Graduate Center, where he is Advisor to the Provost for Digital Initiatives, and where he directs the MA Program in Digital Humanities and the MS Program in Data Analysis and Visualization. His collaborative DH projects include the CUNY Academic Commons and Manifold, and his most recent book is Debates in the Digital Humanities 2019 (co-edited with Lauren F. Klein).

Sonia González began a public health career in Austin, TX, serving LGBTQ+ teens and drug-using and abusing young adults. After earning a Masters of Public Health from Columbia University, she lived in NYC for 20 years. While training teens in Brooklyn to become sexual health and substance use peer educators, she noticed that the trainees never put down their phones, so she returned to school for a Doctorate of Public Health with an Interactive Technology and Pedagogy certificate from the CUNY Graduate Center  and developed a web-based app around sexual health for young Black and Latinx women in NYC. Currently, Dr. González is the Director of and Assistant Professor of Instruction in the Public Health Program in the College of Natural Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin.

Kimon Keramidas is Clinical Associate Professor of Experimental Humanities & Social Engagement and Affiliated Faculty in both International Relations and Integrated Design and Media at New York University. Along with his work at NYU, Kimon collaborates with people in a variety of interdisciplinary environments across the globe including organizations such as the Smithsonian Institution, the State Hermitage in St. Petersburg, the Rubin Museum, the University of Leicester, and NYU Abu Dhabi and Zayed University in the United Arab Emirates. Previous projects include The Sogdians: Influencers on the Silk Roads  a digital global art history project which Kimon co-curated at the Freer|Sackler Asian Art Galleries of the Smithsonian and The Interface Experience: Forty Years of Personal Computing, a transmediated exhibition/book/digital experience on the history of personal computing at the Bard Graduate Center. Kimon is also co-founder of the Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy and New York City Digital Humanities (NYCDH).

Michael Mandiberg is an artist who created Print Wikipedia, edited The Social Media Reader (NYU Press), and co-founded Art+Feminism. They are Professor of Media Culture at the College of Staten Island, CUNY and Doctoral Faculty at The Graduate Center, CUNY, where they are the Coordinator of the Interactive Technology and Pedagogy Certificate Program​.

Roxanne Shirazi is assistant professor and dissertation research librarian at the CUNY Graduate Center, where she also serves as project director for the CUNY Digital History Archive. Previously, Roxanne was a founding co-editor of dh+lib (“where the digital humanities and librarianship meet”) and has taught digital humanities at Pratt Institute’s School of Information. Roxanne is a graduate of the M.A. in Liberal Studies program at the Graduate Center, where Steve Brier supervised her thesis. She is currently working on a history of activist librarians at CUNY.

Luke Waltzer is director of the Teaching and Learning Center at the CUNY Graduate Center, where he also directs the CUNY Humanities Alliance and teaches on the faculty of the Interactive Technology and Pedagogy Certificate Program and the MA Program in Digital Humanities. He holds a PhD in History from the Graduate Center, where he worked at the New Media Lab and with the American Social History Project, and as an Instructional Technology Fellow with the Honors College. He was the founding director of Baruch College's Center for Teaching and Learning before returning to the Graduate Center in 2015. He writes and teaches about the histories of pedagogy, educational technology, and the university system.