I’m Rwany Sibaja, an assistant professor in the history department at Appalachian State University, where I also serve as the director of the History Education Program.
In the area of digital history, my work focuses on the impact of new media on the teaching, learning, and scholarship of history. As a cultural historian of modern Latin American history, with a focus on sports and leisure, this means that I tend to focus on critical media studies, digital storytelling, creating digital archives and collections, and data-geographic visualizations as I explore the role of sports (soccer) and recreational activities in early-mid 20th century Argentina and Costa Rica. As a history/social studies education scholars, this means that my interests in digital history intersect with the burgeoning field of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, or SoTL.
I have worked and published in various facets of the digital humanities. As a doctoral graduate research assistant, I helped develop educational projects at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, where I wrote reviews and published content for Teachinghistory.org, led workshops and trainings for professional K-12 social studies teachers on the incorporation of technology in the classroom, and contributed to various other initiatives related to history. During my time as a postdoctoral fellow at UMBC, I volunteered to serve as a seasonal editor-at-large for Digital Humanities Now; as a current faculty member at App State, I am part of the Digital Humanities working group and co-facilitate a faculty group focused on Active Learning Classrooms (ALCs).
I completed my Ph.D in History at George Mason University (Fairfax, VA), an M.A. in History at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and a B.A. in History from Elon University (formerly Elon College), where I studied as a NC Teaching Fellow. I grew up in Los Angeles (CA), Miami (FL), San José (Costa Rica), and Fayetteville (NC) – and in each place I enjoyed playing pick up games (any sport available), collecting comic books, watching movies, and traveling. Now I get to share those same interests with my children, alongside my wife of almost 18 years (and a new puppy named Django).