The Civil War Institute’s Brian C. Pohanka Internship Program offers Gettysburg College students a unique opportunity to gain paid hands-on experience in museum work. Students selected to participate in this summer internship program will work at well-known National Parks and private museums, giving public tours, assisting with curatorial work and exhibition development, leading children’s programs, and conducting independent historical research. Selected students will receive a $1,500 stipend from CWI and free on-site housing at their respective sites. 21 positions are available for Summer 2017. Applications are due October 17th, and on-campus interviews will take place October 25-26. More information here.
Chris Gwinn ’06, Supervisory Historian for Interpretation and Education at Gettysburg National Military Park, served as the featured speaker at this year’s First-Year Walk. Now in its 14th year, the Walk recreates the historic day in November 1863 when members of the College community accompanied President Abraham Lincoln to the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery, where he delivered the now-famous Gettysburg Address. This tradition welcomes new students and engages them in the history that intertwines both the College and the town. Drawing on both Lincoln’s charge to his listeners to take up the “great task remaining before us” and Gettysburg’s call to “do great work,” Gwinn encouraged incoming students to become a part of history by finding their own “great task,” defining their own “great work,” and live greatly in all that they do. Since graduating from Gettysburg College in 2006, Gwinn has worked extensively for the National Park Service at sites such as Antietam National Battlefield, Boston National Historical Park, and the National Mall and Memorial Parks. In his current position at Gettysburg National Military Park, he now mentors Gettysburg students through the Brian C. Pohanka Internship Program, bringing the opportunities he received during his four years on campus full circle. Read more here.
The Civil War Institute has launched a new student fellowship in memory of Gettysburg College alumnus and friend Paul C. Reber ‘82, a leading member of the public history community. The fellowship establishes an annual summer internship for a Gettysburg College student at Stratford Hall: Home of the Lees. Before his passing last summer, Reber served as the executive director of Stratford Hall for nearly ten years and is largely credited with many of the restorative efforts that have increased the site’s annual visitation numbers and national visibility. The inaugural recipient of the Reber Fellowship is Caitlin Connelly ’17, a history major from Howell, New Jersey. Read more here.
Most students hope for an internship where they can learn about an industry they are interested in, develop a few key skills for that industry, and make valuable connections that could help them enhance their professional network. Jake Farias ’16 was able to do this and so much more as last summer’s recipient of CWI’s Robert Sibley Cooper Fellowship. Not only was he able to work alongside some of the leading experts in the field of history, but he was also charged with creating an original educational workshop on the New York City draft riots of 1863 for high school students attending the nationally-renowned CWI conference. However, a fellowship working with the CWI’s annual conference was not an opportunity Farias had originally anticipated. Read about Farias’s experience at CWI and its impact on his approach to teaching.
Over the course of spring semester 2016, students in Jill Ogline Titus’s Introduction to Public History class collaboratively curated a digital exhibit on campus protest in the Vietnam War era. The student curators were charged with the responsibility of developing an exhibit that would provide historical and interpretive context for a collection housed in Gettysburg College’s Musselman Library and support staff’s efforts to share the rich materials located in Special Collections & College Archives with a broader public audience. The exhibit features pamphlets, buttons, newspaper clippings, and other materials from the library’s MS-036 Radical Pamphlets, 1965-1975 collection. Working collaboratively, students developed an interpretive framework for the exhibit, selected materials for inclusion and prepared them for use on the web, wrote the exhibit narrative and captions, created metadata and video to enhance the interpretation, customized the exhibit design, and installed the exhibit. The exhibit was built in WordPress and utilizes Omeka; it represents an ongoing partnership between Musselman Library, the Civil War Institute, and the Gettysburg College Educational Technology Office. Click here to browse the exhibit.
8 Gettysburg College students had the opportunity to attend part of the 2016 National Council on Public History (NCPH) annual meeting, held March 16-19 in Baltimore. A membership association dedicated to making the past useful in the present and to encouraging collaboration between historians and their publics, NCPH is the nation’s leading professional organization for public historians. The organization establishes professional standards, ethics, and best practices; provides professional development opportunities; fosters networking and a sense of community among public history practitioners; maintains the popular blog History@Work; supports history education; and publishes the field’s journal of record, The Public Historian. CWI Associate Director Jill Ogline Titus is currently wrapping up a three-year term on the organization’s board of directors. The students attended conference sessions on topics ranging from international public history, historic preservation & gentrification, Confederate monuments, and ghost tours at historic sites, networked with Gettysburg College alumni working in public history, and got a taste of interdisciplinary and geographical breadth of the field. Read some of their impressions here.
Most people know the story of Clara Barton, the pioneering nurse who tended to wounded and dying soldiers during the Civil War and later founded the American Red Cross. What most people don’t know are the stories behind her story – how her colleagues in the U.S. Patent Office often covered her work for her, enabling her to continue earning wages so that she could pay for the medical supplies necessary for her nursing efforts during the war. They also might not know that Barton opened the Missing Soldiers Office after the war, and with a small staff located more than 22,000 men, living and dead, bringing necessary closure to their families. These are the kinds of stories that Amelia Grabowski ’13, Outreach and Education Specialist for the Clara Barton Missing Soldiers Office Museum and the National Museum of Civil War Medicine, enjoys telling the most. Read more about Amelia’s work with one of Washington, DC’s newest museums here.
With the premiere of PBS’s much-anticipated new Civil War drama, MERCY STREET, in January 2016, CWI staff and students have been involved in a wide range of conversations surrounding the show’s launch, exploring everything from the material culture of the hospital scenes to the history of contraband policy. Based on true stories, MERCY STREET takes viewers behind the front lines of the Civil War and into the lives of a diverse cast of characters — doctors, nurses, contraband laborers and Southern loyalists — who intersect in the chaotic world of the Mansion House Hospital in Union-occupied Alexandria, Virginia. Jill Ogline Titus and Ian Isherwood appeared live on WITF’s “Smart Talk” to discuss the show, and along with Jim Udden from Film Studies, joined producer and co-creator Lisa Wolfinger, a Gettysburg College parent, in a panel discussion following a WITF-sponsored sneak preview screening at the Majestic Theater. CWI Fellows will be blogging about the series this winter on our blog, The Gettysburg Compiler, and Isherwood will be a regular contributor to WITF’s podcast conversations responding to episodes of the show.
Gettysburg College was recently ranked fourth in the nation and the top liberal arts college in Pennsylvania for mid-length study abroad experiences. Three out of five Gettysburg students spend at least one semester abroad. In addition to their coursework, many students conduct field research, study new languages, or pursue internship opportunities in their host countries. Megan McNish ‘16 gained international work experience in public history last spring as part of her study abroad experience through the Advanced Studies in England (ASE) program. Megan blended her coursework in the world-heritage city of Bath with an internship at the American Museum in Britain, which provided her unique insight into the way that citizens of other countries understand and interpret American history. Approaching American history through different lenses encouraged her to reflect on the way that historical narratives are constructed and ask new questions about the past. Upon Megan’s return from England in the summer of 2015, she was hired as a seasonal ranger at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, where she found that her international experience in public history had shaped the way she approached her work.A CWI Fellow and two-time veteran of the Brian C. Pohanka Internship Program, Megan is a History major with dual minors in Civil War Era Studies and Public History. Upon graduation, she hopes to pursue a master’s degree in Public History and a career with the National Park Service, where she will be able to continue to explore the way that perspective and narrative shape our understandings of the past. Read more about Megan’s experience at the American Museum in Britain.
In the Fall of 2015, senior Becca Duffy drew upon her interests in public history and visual art to curate a moving exhibit on childhood poverty in Schmucker Art Gallery. “Pray for the People Who Feed You: Voices of Pauper Children in the Industrial Age,” opened on September 9 and will run through October 24. A double major in History and Art History (with minors in Public History & East Asian Studies) and two-time former Pohanka intern, Becca’s interest in this topic grew out of an International Bridge Course experience mentored by CWI’s Jill Ogline Titus. Over the course of three semesters, Becca used her study abroad experience at the University of Lancaster (England) to undertake a comparative analysis of museum representations of poverty and welfare, focusing primarily on the Workhouse (Southwell) and the Lower East Side Tenement Museum (New York City). In “Pray for the People Who Feed You,” Becca turned her attention to analyzing visual and print representations of children in poverty and reading between the lines of those who spoke “for” these children to attempt to recover echoes of their own voices. Read more about the exhibit here.
Gettysburg College launched an interdisciplinary minor in public history in Fall 2015. The new minor is administered by CWI’s Peter Carmichael and Jill Ogline Titus, housed in Interdisciplinary Studies (IDS), and directed by a faculty advisory council. What is public history? Public history revolves around the politics and practice of preservation and interpretation, in public settings and in conversation with public audiences. Students with a focus on Public History can pursue graduate study in history, public history, museum studies, art history, anthropology, library science, film studies, public policy, education, ethnic studies, public humanities, geography, sociology, or American Studies. They can also seek employment in fields ranging from museums, libraries and historic preservation to education, consulting, and government. For more information on course requirements, learning goals, and program faculty, please visit the program website.
Associate Director Jill Ogline Titus served as the featured speaker for the 2015 First-Year Walk. Now in its 13th year, the First-Year Walk brings together Gettysburg College faculty, staff, and incoming First Year students in recreating the historic walk to the National Cemetery to hear President Abraham Lincoln deliver the Gettysburg Address. This orientation week tradition commemorates Gettysburg students’ participation in the historic events of 1863 and introduces new students to the history and landscape of their new home. Titus’s remarks focused on the power of place, the responsibilities of citizenship, and the process of drawing meaning from historical events. Read more about the 2015 First-Year Walk.
Two Gettysburg College historians, CWI Director Peter Carmichael and Allen Guelzo, head of Civil War Era Studies, are featured in a new primetime documentary, Blood and Glory: The Civil War in Color, which premiered on April 8, 2015 on the History Channel. This four-part documentary series brings the Civil War to life as never seen before. With unprecedented access to government and private archives and using state-of-the-art technology, over 500 rare and compelling black and white photographs have been painstakingly colorized to illustrate the story of the Civil War in remarkable detail. In addition to Carmichael and Guelzo, the program features historians James Oakes and George Rable, actors Richard Dreyfuss and Ben Stein, former Senator Carol Moseley-Braun, and retired U.S. Army Generals David Petraeus and Colin Powell, in addition to descendants of Frederick Douglass, Ulysses S. Grant and Jefferson Davis. The series focuses on pivotal events that led the nation into conflict, the impact of state-of-the-art weaponry and technology, the tragic and unimaginable cost of combat, and the struggle to rebuild both individual lives and the country as a whole after the Confederacy’s surrender.