Some of those perusing the schedule for the 2017 CWI conference may be wondering “what’s a dine-in”? Well, look no further for an answer! Dine-ins are small discussion groups which meet during a regularly-scheduled meal time in a campus facility. Dine-ins are faciliated by members of the CWI faculty, who select a theme/topic for discussion as well as some brief readings that are be distributed prior to the conference. Dine-ins are meant to encourage in-depth conversation, frequently (but not always) about primary sources, and are capped at 10 participants apiece. The format provides a unique opportunity for more informal, extended conversations, both with speakers and with other conference attendees. All attendees are welcome to sign up for a dine-in, but due to space limitations, pre-registration is required and the seats will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Register today for the 2017 conference.
CWI recently partnered with the Gettysburg Recreational Adventure Board (GRAB) and the college’s reenacting club to provide students with a special opportunity to engage in experiential learning. Students and staff hit the historic and blood-soaked section of the Appalachian Trail between Harpers Ferry and Crampton’s Gap, hiking some of the same ground tread by the soldiers who fought at the Battle of South Mountain in September 1862. Some of the crew were outfitted in 21st century hiking gear and clothing, but many members of the group wore Civil War military garb in order to get a sense of what it would have been like to campaign in the mountainous terrain. In juxtaposing the conveniences of modern gear with the difficulty of hiking in wool uniforms and brogans, the group got a sense of how difficult it is for us today to even imagine the hardships of soldier life. See photos here.
Recent alumnus Kevin Lavery has joined the CWI staff for the 2016-17 academic year as Interim Assistant Director of the Civil War Institute. In this position, Lavery will oversee the CWI Fellows program, working closely with the editor and co-editor of CWI’s student blog, The Gettysburg Compiler, and coordinating special projects and trips. He’ll also play an important role in developing new digital projects, help coordinate student research in Special Collections, and conduct battlefield tours for guests of the College. A 2016 graduate of Gettysburg College, Lavery majored in History, with minors in Peace & Justice Studies and Educational Studies. As a student, he was a CWI Fellow, a Brian C. Pohanka Intern at Manassas National Battlefield Park, a Peer Learning Associate, and co-editor of the Gettysburg College Journal of the Civil War Era. Says Lavery, “Throughout my time at Gettysburg, the CWI and its staff have offered me countless opportunities to engage with salient issues in history while developing my research, writing, and leadership skills. I look forward to helping advance the mission of the CWI, and to repaying and paying forward all that the CWI has done for me.”
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.