Death and Culture Network II: Fall 2018

DacNet UOY RHAlignIn September of this year I had the opportunity to present a paper on Bodies and Display for the Death and Culture II conference at the University of York in the United Kingdom. I have been researching bodies and museums for the past couple of years, and this was a fantastic opportunity to bring that research to an international audience. While in the UK, I also visited several London and York museums, met with other amazing #DeathStudies scholars, and did some good research for what will be my next book! More on that soon.

IMG_mh7wdbAccording to the DaCNet website, “The Death and Culture Network based at the University of York seeks to explore and understand cultural responses to mortality. It focuses on the impact of death and the dead on culture, and the way in which they have shaped human behaviour, evidenced through thought, action, production and expression. The network is committed to promoting and producing an inter-disciplinary study of mortality supported by evidence and framed by theoretical engagement.” This is a true interdisciplinary work of genius, and a fun group of people to meet and collaborate with for sure.

I can not emphasize enough how much I enjoyed this conference and the other presentations and discussions held formally and informally. I will explore those in my next blog in more detail.

IMG_20180907_102201_205In my presentation I explored the legacy of freakshows and cabinets of curiosities on the current guidelines and ethics of museums in regard to the display of human remains. Topics I am brought up included: ethics, public reactions, and responsibilities of public historians with regards to the display and exhibition of human remains. I also presented on the racial, ableist, and class implications of displaying human remains in natural history, history, and medical museums. I also mentioned cultural patrimony of objects, as well as human remains as museum objects. I posed many questions in my talk about how old do human remains have to be to be considered “objects” and no longer people? How do visitors react to various human remains on display, from mummies, to Victorian hair wreath memorials, to skeletons or cremated remains? Human remains have been a part of exhibitions since the first museums opened in various forms; from the case of Sarah Baartman and nineteenth century freak shows, to modern displays of mummies and medical specimens, the human body has often been a source of emotion, intrigue, and education. Have museums moved beyond the “freakshow,” or are current human remain displays merely an extension of the spectacle of the earliest museum?20180907_141938~2

I had a blast doing this presentation, and I even managed to finish my talk with 4 seconds to spare. The audience and other panel members were so accepting and helpful, and they brought so many insights to my talk. I can’t wait to be back in York in 2020 for DaCIII!

Updates, News, and Fun, Fall 2018 Edition

What a year this has already turned out to be! I haven’t been as active here on the blog, but always check out @DrMaryClary on Twitter for lots of updates, and @KatieClaryPhD on Insta for current news, musings, and updates. As I am currently waiting impatiently for Hurricane Florence to hit, I’m hoping to get caught up on a lot of writing and blogging.

Here is a quick run-down of 2018 so far:

20180310_213200I accepted a new position as Assistant Professor of History, Public History at Coastal Carolina University in the spring! I’m thrilled to get to continue my work here in South Carolina with Public history, access, human remains, and cultural heritage.

NCPH 2018 was a blast as usual. I presented my new work on bodies and museums with a fantastic group of women and chaired a panel titled, “Death and Display, Bodies and Boundaries.” I hope to expound upon our panel at that work very soon.

IMG_20180419_130404_815

I took a vacation to England! I also did some incredible anecdotal research on remains in museums and saw artifacts I’ve been reading about for years at the Ashmolean Museum and others. I also managed to hike about 40 miles of the Cotswolds Way in the bizarre heat and sunshine of England in May.

I had an article come out based on my conference paper at the EXARC 2017 conference in Williamsburg, Virginia. The paper, “Public Access to (Pre-)History Through Archaeology” is available through the EXARC Open Access Journal at this link

20180907_180349Most recently, I traveled to the UK to do some research on human remains in several museums in London, and then I traveled up to York to present at the Death and Culture Network conference at the University of York. What an amazing conference and group of people to be a part of. I can’t wait to share more with you about the conference, potential projects coming out of it, and the rad people I met. In the meantime, check out the Hashtag #DC2 on twitter for highlights from myself and some other dedicated live-tweeters. As for the paper I presented, it should be coming out soon in the American Association for State and Local History quarterly, History News. I’ll share it when it is!

DSC03332~2This semester I’m working with a research fellow from my college to develop a full-scale Reacting to the Past game based on a mini-game I created last fall about the development of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. What an incredible melding of all of my interests – pedagogy, game play, human remains, cultural heritage, and public history – all in one! Happily, my workshop on this topic with the incomparable Dr. Abby Gautreau and Dan Ott has been accepted for NCPH 2019; see you all soon in Hartford!

I’m also updating my interactive CV tab here to include my most recent work.

So busy, all the time, but loving every minute of it. Catch you soon, but see you on Twitter in the meantime!

Fall 2017 Student Blog: Oral History

This is the fifteenth in a series of Tuesday re-blogs of my student work from our HIST395 course. Please enjoy these blogs written by Coastal Carolina University students.

This is the second blog by student Morissa Robinson about the importance of oral history. 

By Morissa J Robinson I recently worked on a project in one of my history classes that required us to dig up any information we could find on a person assigned to us and write up a biography entry. Easy, right? Well it wasn’t that simple. Some of us had first and last names to […]

via Why Oral History is Important — Journey into Public History

 

Fall 2017 Student Blog: Motor City Mayhem

This is the fourteenth in a series of Tuesday re-blogs of my student work from our HIST395 course. Please enjoy these blogs written by Coastal Carolina University students.

This is the second blog by student Dylan Livingston about museums in Detroit. 

By Dylan Livingston During this past summer, I traveled to Detroit, Michigan to visit my father and take a look into what he was working on for his job. Over the past year, my father was hired as the CEO of the Michigan State science center. One of my dad’s main objectives was to educate […]

via Motor City Mayhem — Journey into Public History

Fall 2017 Student Blog: National History Day

This is the thirteenth in a series of Tuesday re-blogs of my student work from our HIST395 course. Please enjoy these blogs written by Coastal Carolina University students.

This is the second blog by student Tori Peck about National History Day. 

By Tori Peck What is National History Day? It is an event that is independently sponsored by organizations that will hold local and state competitions where elementary, middle school and secondary school students present historical research done on a predetermined topic. Around 3,000 students attend the final competition and they come from all around the […]

via National History Day — Journey into Public History

Fall 2017 Student Blog: Archaeology and Public History

This is the twelfth in a series of Tuesday re-blogs of my student work from our HIST395 course. Please enjoy these blogs written by Coastal Carolina University students.

This blog is by student Bryan Maldonado about Archaeology and Public History.

By Bryan Maldonado DIRT: Archaeology, Artifacts, Bones, and Organizations Archaeology is the study of ancient and recent human remains or material like artifacts in order to get more information about the past culture and the way of life. Artifacts are more than just a rare or ancient object they also tell archaeologist a story or […]

via DIRT: Archaeology, Artifacts, Bones, and Organizations — Journey into Public History

Fall 2017 Student Blog: Battlefield Visits

This is the eleventh in a series of Tuesday re-blogs of my student work from our HIST395 course. Please enjoy these blogs written by Coastal Carolina University students.

This blog is by student Chris Colón about the importance of docents and interpretation at National Parks and Battlefields. 

By Chris Colón When I first became interested in history, I had realized that the reason I was so interested was the way in which my father would teach me about history. He made a great effort to teach me as if he were telling me a story. It was that storytelling aspect that made me […]

via Battlefield Tour Guides — Journey into Public History

Fall 2017 Student Blog: Lincoln Giants

This is the tenth in a series of Tuesday re-blogs of my student work from our HIST395 course. Please enjoy these blogs written by Coastal Carolina University students.

This blog is by student Lontay Greene about the Lincoln Giants.

By Lontay Greene Olympic Field sprouted the roots of a baseball team in New York, that would hold as much cultural impact in the Harlem Renaissance as the singers, poets, and writers. The Lincoln Giants entered the scene of Harlem in the year 1911, under the co-ownership of Jess and Edward McMahon. The Lincoln Giants […]

via Lincoln Giants — Journey into Public History

Fall 2017 Student Blog: Teaching History

This is the ninth in a series of Tuesday re-blogs of my student work from our HIST395 course. Please enjoy these blogs written by Coastal Carolina University students.

This blog is by student Morissa Robinson about teaching history and being a history major. 

 

By Morissa Robinson As a History major I am often asked, “What are you planning to do with that, teach?” The question is usually followed by a self satisfied smirk and the occasional rolling of the eyes. I have to admit the first few times this happened, my feelings were hurt. I would mutter a […]

via To Teach or Not to Teach, That is the Question — Journey into Public History

Fall 2017 Student Blog: NC Sports Hall of Fame

This is the eighth in a series of Tuesday re-blogs of my student work from our HIST395 course. Please enjoy these blogs written by Coastal Carolina University students.

This blog is by student Dylan Livingston about the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame.

By Dylan Livingston Founded in 1962, the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, placed in the North Carolina Museum of History, has impressed and entertained North Carolina residents and travelers alike. The NC Hall of Fame is chalk full of amazing athletes and coaches detailing what they did for their school, their team and most […]

via NC Sports Hall of Fame — Journey into Public History