My name is Grant Forssberg, and I am a Knox Post-Baccalaureate Fellow for the 2009-2010 academic year. During this time, I will be working with members of the Office of Web and New Media Services and the college’s history department to redesign the Knox history page. A component of the larger Web site redesign project, the college’s history page is in the process of being expanded and revamped in an effort to make it more dynamic and engaging. The end goal is to provide readers with a comprehensive understanding of Knox’s rich history, including some topics that may have been previously neglected.
Over the coming months, I will be researching and writing articles, as well as compiling a detailed historical timeline; both of which will be featured on the college’s history page. The timeline will thread together events, people, and places, while the articles analyze particular events with a greater focus than a timeline normally allows. The work will be done chronologically in parts, each one covering different periods of the college’s history. The first part, completed this summer, covers the origins of the college from a decade before its founding, through to the beginning of the Civil War — or the years 1825 to 1861. It will feature four articles: one describing the origins of the college and tracing George Washington Gale’s vision for a manual labor college in the West, an article on the early religious sectarianism within the college and the town, an article outlining women’s education at Knox College, and another article covering the infamous Lincoln-Douglas debate at Knox in the fall of 1858.
As the year progresses, more pieces of the timeline will be added along with corresponding articles. The project will be constantly evolving and subject to reader feedback. A project of this magnitude requires far more research than can hope to be accomplished in a fraction of the time I have been allotted. One of my aims is to go off the ‘beaten path’ and include stories that may not be featured elsewhere, or may have received less attention. During the process I will be providing you with updates about the progress of my research and writing: what topics I’m focusing on, how I am approaching them, etc. It is my sincere hope that you will continue to stop by to view recent developments, and that you will share your feelings about the direction of the project.