Monthly Archives: November 2014

2015 Colonial Academic Alliance Undergraduate Research Conference

In March 2015 I will present my original research synthesized in my B.A. Honor’s Thesis, Evaluating Contested Ground: Civil War Interpretation in the Shenandoah Valley at the annual CAA Undergraduate Research Conference.

The conference will be held at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA, on March 27-29, 2015.  I have been selected to represent JMU and give a poster presentation on my findings. Here is my abstract:

This research focuses on how three distinct Civil War sites in the Shenandoah Valley interpret the American Civil War. The Virginia Museum of the Civil War in New Market Virginia, the visitor center housed by the Kernstown Battlefield Association in Kernstown Virginia, and Harpers Ferry National Historical Park information center in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. Each of these three organizations is administered by a different governing body ranging from the National Park Service to the State of Virginia, and lies in the geographical and cultural region of the Shenandoah Valley. Research is based off; interviews conducted with interpretative managers at each site, visual documentation of the physical exhibit space, and critical analysis of written rhetoric. Examination and evaluation reveal; the organizational structure of each site is reflected in their exhibits, interpretive endeavors fail to reach a suitable level of inclusiveness, and the need to reassess future interpretation.

I am looking forward to the opportunity to reach a wider audience, and share some of my findings.

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Filed under Sharing Scholarship

Effective Use of Media: Google Maps and History

Recently I have started the arduous journey of attempting to understand Reconstruction in the Shenandoah Valley following the Civil War. After some basic internet queries on the Freedmen’s Bureau I came across a really intriguing link. Someone took Google Maps and overlaid all the various bureaus in the south! Check it out.

Today, I came across another map put together by the University of California. It does the same thing, but documents the various New Deal projects that were undertaken in the 1930s. Check it out. 

As someone who loves to use technology, these are great examples of how to integrate new media and technology into the history field. As time moves on, hopefully people can incorporate the power of Google Maps even more.

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Filed under General Thoughts