The serious lack of posting in the past several months should not indicate a lack of professional work; I have certainly kept busy in the field! I updated my CV tab, but here are some quick updates:
My article in Scientia et Humanitas was a success. Since then, my publishing record has taken off! The American Association of State and Local History published my article “The Legacy of the Freakshow in Museums” in the national magazine, AASLH History News, in the Fall 2013 edition. I also had a short article called, “The Blount Mansion: Looking Back and Moving Forward” in Everything Knoxville in December 2013. MTSU’s Teaching with Primary Sources program also gave my professional work a nod in, “Primary Sources, Artifacts, and Students with Special Needs” in Fall 2013.
Perhaps most exciting, and the thing that has kept me the busiest, is my forthcoming book, Programming for People with Special Needs: A Guide for Museums and Historic Sites, to be published this year by Rowman and Littlefield AltaMira Press! This is an adaptation of my dissertation research for real world application by historic site professionals. I’ll post more about the process in a future blog.
Conferences and Talks:
I’ve also kept busy talking about my personal research and the exciting project happening at my “real job” at the Blount Mansion. The most fun was Fall of 2013, also known as the Autumn of the Conferences. Again, there is another blog forthcoming to discuss the adventures at the conferences. The first conference I attended was AASLH in Birmingham, Alabama. I then traveled to one of my favorite cities, Savannah, Georgia for the Pop Culture Association of the South conference, where I presented with two of my favorite lady academics, Tori and Abby (of TLC Blog Series Fame) to present, “TLC as a Sideshow: The LEARNING Channel?” I stayed in Savannah for the Southeast Museums Conference Meeting the same week, which was fantastic as always. We look forward to hosting SEMC in Knoxville this fall! Next, I traveled north to Indianapolis for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, where I had the chance to reconnect with a childhood friend and fellow preservationist and learn more about preservation in America.
This coming year, I have two conference presentations lined up, “Welcoming All Visitors: Accessible Programs at History Museums and Sites” at the American Association for State and Local History annual meeting in St. Paul, Minnesota, in September and “Sustainability at Historic House Museums: Creative Thinking, Projects, and Partnerships” at the Tennessee Association of Museums Annual Meeting (AKA Best Conference All Year) in Greeneville, Tennessee, next month.
In addition to conferences, I’ve also had the chance to give several talks to people in the community. These include: “Blount Mansion and East Tennessee History,” at Fort Loudoun, Tennessee in February 2014; “Restoration and Preservation: Blount Mansion’s Past and Future,” for the University of Tennessee Women’s Club in February 2014; “The House with Many Eyes: Blount Mansion’s Expansive Past,” West Knoxville Rotary Club, January 2014; and “Working in Museums and the Public History Field: How to be Relevant”, with the University of Tennessee History Club.
I’m also serving on more committees now than I ever did in graduate school, which I had previously thought was impossible! I’m proud to serve on:
- American Association for State and Local History Career Development Committee
- Southeastern Museums Conference Program Committee
- Southeastern Museums Conference Local Arrangements Committee
- American Association for State and Local History National Leadership Awards Committee – Captain for the State of Tennessee
- Tennessee Association of Museums Awards Program Representative
- Hope Center Volunteer, Knoxville, Tennessee
- Tennessee Achieves High School Mentor
On the Job:
Work has been, put simply, a blast and a learning experience. Read more about it on the Blount Mansion Blog, but here is a quick rundown:
- Made sure archaeology happened, and had a great time seeing what the guys from CRA found
- Helped oversee and administer a multi-million dollar historic preservation project on the Blount Mansion
- Created a new exhibit called Furniture on the Frontier in the Visitors Center
- Administered several grants including: State of Tennessee Grant for Blount Mansion, Arts and Cultural Alliance, Community Agency Grant, City of Knoxville, First Tennessee Foundation Grant, and most importantly, the Save America’s Treasures Grant through the National Park Service
Lastly, I had an opportunity to do a museum assessment for Humanities Tennessee. I traveled to Celina, TN to visit the Clay County History Museum and worked with their director to come up with ideas, plans, and projects for the site. I can’t wait to do more consulting in the future!
On a Personal Note, I traveled to Europe for the first time (Ireland, Northern Ireland, Wales, and England), and New York City again, and I hope to write about the great historic places I went there, as well. I also got engaged at the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland to a fantastic man and artist! This has been an incredible year.
So that’s it. I’m planning to get more blogging done in the new year, now that the manuscript is just about complete for the book. Here’s hoping!