Folktales, Ghosts, Historical Sites, Landscape History, Public History, Ruins, Spiritualism, Storytelling

Landscape: The Abandoned and The Haunted

It was recently brought to my attention that “Ruin Porn” is a thing –and a problematic one at that. I am no stranger to the draw of abandoned places, I recently found an abandoned Renaissance Fair, and I never pass up the opportunity to look at photos of defunct amusement parks or detailed architecture made… Continue reading Landscape: The Abandoned and The Haunted

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Ghost Story, Graduate Education, Historical Research, Object Veneration, Southern History

The Library of Congress & I (& also ghosts): A Torrid Love Affair

This spring break I decided to temporarily put down Virginia folktales (provided by my past love—The WPA) and give some attention to the Library of Congress’s digital newspaper collections (I am going to make this very obvious, the federal government does great things for my education, WPA, the LOC, the grants and loans I got… Continue reading The Library of Congress & I (& also ghosts): A Torrid Love Affair

Ghosts, Historical Sites, Landscape History, Museums, Public History, Slavery, Uncategorized

The Tough Stuff is Still Tough Stuff : Slavery in Public History

Part 1 I recently read James Oliver Horton, and Lois E. Horton, Editors. Slavery and Public History: The Tough Stuff of American Memory, which is a bit outdated but creates space for good discussions.[1] One of the main difficulties with portraying slavery at historical sites is the reality of physical and mental abuse inherent in slavery.… Continue reading The Tough Stuff is Still Tough Stuff : Slavery in Public History

Founding Fathers

Sexy Founding Fathers: Why Does This Fabric Exist and Why Did I Buy It?

Happy Presidents' Day! Over the summer while I was working at George Washington Birthplace National Monument (GEWA) my co-worker and I stumbled upon this fabric at the Joann's in Fredericksburg, and proceeded to make pillows, sexy, historical pillows. I, in all my wisdom, bought far too much fabric, which means my computer chair (see below) and… Continue reading Sexy Founding Fathers: Why Does This Fabric Exist and Why Did I Buy It?

Folktales, Public History, Storytelling, Uncategorized

Folktales and Storytelling

I am reading Virginia folk tales in search of some ghost-gold. I have come across many interesting ones. Some interesting because of their great quality and others interesting because they are so horribly lame. This post is a beginning of what will hopefully develop into some intriguing posts about folklore and storytelling. No promises about… Continue reading Folktales and Storytelling

Display Art, hatpin, historical fashion, Museums, Self Defense, Take Back the Night, Women's History

Hatpin Stabbings

Today while reading through David Glassberg's The Presence of the Past, I was distracted by his mention of a woman stabbing someone with a hatpin in a San Francisco crowd. ( I have never heard such a thing!) This inspired me to google "hatpin stabbing," which was remarkably fruitful. So I tweeted the Smithsonian (because we… Continue reading Hatpin Stabbings

Historical Sites, Public History, Southern History

Facing the Past Head-on

(Feminism AND Public History? Hey-OH!) As a woman who grew up during the 1990’s Girl Power pop-movement and is now in the process of earning a PhD, who lives unmarried with her boyfriend, and believes in universal human equality it is no surprise that I am a feminist. Being a feminist, I read feminist blogs… Continue reading Facing the Past Head-on

Civil War 150, History Class, Public History, Undergraduate Education, Wikipedia

Wikipedia in the Classroom

As a graduate assistant ( I am rounding out my 7th full year taking university classes, wooh!) I have heard nearly all my professors deride wikipedia. Usually on the first day of classes professors remind students to read their books and articles and ignore wikipedia, to use real primary sources and secondary sources from university… Continue reading Wikipedia in the Classroom

Historical Sites, Museum Minute, Museums, Public History

Christmas In Museum Land

I recently read MuseumMinute which asks if  museums "sell out" when they "deck" their exhibit halls. A second blog called Peabody's Lament says "We do it because the Christmas season is a month-long Black Friday for museums. Our visitation (and our coffers) swell. Christmas is a house museum institution. {Honestly Christmas is a bit overwhelming, there is… Continue reading Christmas In Museum Land