Jesse Draper

Fields: Digital Humanities and Social Sciences; Urban History; Sports History

Region: United States

Office: 141H Old Horticulture Building

Phone: (517) 884-5967


I am an Academic Specialist with the MSU History Department and the Interim Executive Director for H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online.

I began working with H-Net in 2013 as a Content Developer while finishing his PhD in U.S. History. I joined the organization as the Associate Director of Networks in October 2014.

My dissertation, A Diamond in the Heart of Downtown: Stadium-Driven Urban Renewal, 1955-2000, analyzes the processes behind post-World War II stadium-driven urban renewal in three major American cities: Los Angeles, Chicago and Detroit. The historical and political contexts varied dramatically within these cities, allowing for an analysis of similarities and reoccurring trends in the processes of stadium-driven urban renewal that transcend the limitations inherent in an analysis of one particular place or time in history.

My dissertation examined the clusters, or the connected associated interests, involved in the process of stadium construction. The history of postwar stadium-driven urban renewal demonstrates that the American city has been, and continues to be, refashioned for those willing to spend their discretionary income in rising urban tourist economies, often to the detriment of a once proud and increasingly displaced urban working class.

My current research interests focus on Digital Humanities as a large-scale scholarly project. H-Net’s transition from  listservs to a more robust content management system, the H-Net Commons, has presented many questions about how and why scholars use digital spaces for research and teaching. This has prompted discussion about digital publishing, peer-review, and how to utilize these new platforms to meet the needs of scholars in an increasingly digital 21st century.

I also teach courses for the department from time to time. I will be teaching HST 110: What We Want, What We Believe – #BlackLivesMatter Activism in Historical Context in the Spring semester, 2017.