I am a PhD candidate in the history department at the University of South Carolina (USC). I study the mid to late nineteenth and twentieth century American South with an emphasis on race and gender. Also specializing in public history, I work extensively in museum education and interpretation, oral history and film history.
I began my public history career in 2002 as Education Programs Coordinator at Belle Meade Plantation in Nashville, Tennessee. In addition to conducting educational tours and summer camps, I also managed the junior docent program and established an award winning museum theater program. In 2004, I published my undergraduate thesis “The Ties That Bind: James H. Richmond and Murray Teachers College during World War II” in Ohio Valley History. I earned a master’s degree in U.S. history in 2006 at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Protest in the Port City, my documentary film thesis and long civil rights study, addresses the history of racial violence and desegregation in Wilmington that ultimately led to the decade-long Wilmington Ten case. This work built largely upon my previous documentary film American Coup, also produced while at UNCW. This film traces the only known coup d’état in American history, which occurred in Wilmington in 1898, and the racialized violence against black citizens connected with the political upheaval. From 2006-2010, I worked as an adjunct at Coastal Carolina University, where I taught U.S., Western and World history courses, developed an oral history class and directed a grant supported oral history project.
While at USC, I completed an internship at the Moving Image Research Collection and served as a teaching assistant for the media arts and history departments and recently began teaching my own courses again. As the Woodrow Wilson Family Home Lead Facilitator at Historic Columbia, I am facilitating the museum’s reopening as a presidential home and museum of Reconstruction. I craft tours and interactive materials, train docents, evaluate audience reception, conduct tours and research the history and memory of Reconstruction using “Tommy” Woodrow Wilson’s teenage years in early 1870s Columbia and his presidency as the framework. Courtesy of a fellowship from USC’s Institute for African American Research, I began research in summer of 2014 investigating dozens of sites related to Reconstruction in the Beaufort, S.C. region for my dissertation on Reconstruction memory in Columbia told through the lens of the reopening of the Woodrow Wilson Family Home.
What little remaining free time I have I spend with my adorable husband Robert and our dog Lennon. I dig zombies and bourbon, the latter stemming from my Kentucky roots. And apparently I blog now.