My name is Kyle Rothemich. I graduated from James Madison University with a B.A. in History and Public History Summa Cum Laude with a Distinction in History in May 2015. I will begin my graduate work at West Virginia Univeristy in the fall of 2015. There I will be completing an M.A. in Public History and working at the Monongalia County Courthouse.
My research interests include: cultural resource management, historic preservation, historical interpretation methods, landscapes, environmental history, and the use of new media in public history.
During my time at JMU I completed a a B.A. Honor Thesis, entitled: Evaluating Contested Ground: Civil War Interpretation in the Shenandoah Valley. My research focused 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 also granted the great opportunity to work for the National Park Service. I work as an Interpretative Park Ranger at Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park in Middletown, Virginia. Visit our website here. (Disclaimer: Everything written on this blog represents my personal views and not that of the National Park Service or Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park and has no connections with my employer. This is my blog, I may relate to, or promote programs by the NPS, but again, has no official connection with my employer).
This blog is an attempt to discuss the various trials, tribulations, struggles, successes, discoveries, challenges and hurdles I encounter. At the same time, showcase my work as I attempt to become an academically trained public historian.