Public History Work
From Stones River to Fort Vancouver
During the Public History Seminar students worked with Stones River National Battlefild Park (STRI) to conduct a cultural landscape survey of the park property. Working closely with Angela Smith and Richard Smith, I concentrated on researching the history of landownership along Van Cleve Lane. After the Battle of Stones River, an African American community called Cemetery settled on the land and Van Cleve was one of the main streets. This community had to be removed in order to convert the land for Park Service use and now the NPS is working to interpret this community to the public. Our research was the first formal step in that process.
After the seminar, several of us worked together to produce a multimedia poster session for a National Council on Public History meeting. Elizabeth Goetsch and myself designed the poster. In this poster, we brought together the various elements of the cultural landscape study that the groups worked on in order to present a more complex view of the people who had lived, worked, and played at Cemetery. Goetsch has continued this work in her master’s research.
The public history department sponsored a cultural resources management field school to Fort Vancouver Historical Site (FOVA) in Vancouver, Washington, through partnership with FOVA and STRI. We toured NPS and state park facilities all around that area of Washington and Oregon with an eye towards learning from some of the strategies in those park service units in the hopes that STRI could make use of similar techniques. FOVA has excellent public archaeological programs and interpretation and Katie Merzbacher O’Bryan and myself proposed that STRI work up similar archaeological exhibits which would help to interpret all phases of use that the parkland has undergone. Our powerpoint is below, followed by the accompanying paper.
Inter-Museum Council of Nashville (ICON)
While I was in graduate school, I was privileged to be able to participate as a judge for the Middle Tennessee Regional History Day competition. It has been a joy to not only see students excited about history but to help them on their way. I worked in exhibits and documentaries. The first year that I served as a judge, I was paired with Kelly Wilkerson, who went on to become the coordinator for the State History Day competition (and now works for the Tennessee State Library and Archives).
I saw Kelly a few months later at a meeting of the Inter-museum Council of Nashville. ICON is an organization for museum professionals and students in and around Nashville and Kelly served on the Board of Directors for ICON at that time. When the board decided they would like a graduate student member, Kelly suggested my name and I joined the ICON Board of Directors.
While working with ICON, I have been able to help organize and advertise several successful events for organization members. ICON hosts social and networking events, museum site tours, and professional development workshops. From 2010 through 2012, I served as treasurer for this not-for-profit organization.
Check out what ICON is up to these days on their facebook page.