Study Reconstruction in Washington, D.C. This Summer

reconstruction_congressFor those of you who are history teachers looking for professional development opportunities this summer, I encourage you to check out what Ford’s Theatre is offering on the Reconstruction Era. This is still one of the most misunderstood periods in American history and yet an argument could be made that a deep understanding of this history and its legacy has never been more important.

The program will bring you to the nation’s capital for one week to work with historians in a classroom setting and on site at places such as Arlington National Cemetery, the National Archives and the Frederick Douglass House. While the workshop focuses on the broad history of Reconstruction it will use the D.C. as a case study to examine such topics as the postwar push for civil rights and the lives of slaves in area contraband camps and in the Freedman’s Village at Arlington.

I will lead a session on the final day, which will examine the long-term legacy of Reconstruction with an examination of the 1915 film “Birth of a Nation” as well as ways that teachers can connect more recent events to the study of Reconstruction.

Move fast as there are a limited number of spaces.

Teaching Research at the AAS

I recently sat down with my good friend, Megan Kate Nelson, to talk about my recent experience teaching the American Studies Seminar at the American Antiquarian Society for the SCWH’s new blog. My responses are relatively brief, so let me know if there is some aspect of the course that you would like me to expand upon. I am happy to do so.

You can read my responses here or at the SCWH site. Finally, the SCWH is looking for contributions for its blog page. You can find the details here. Continue reading “Teaching Research at the AAS”

Looking Ahead to 2016: Research, Writing, and Beyond

For a number of reasons, 2015 was an exciting year for me. In May I left the high school classroom to pursue other interests here in Boston. It began in September with an invitation to teach a research seminar at the American Antiquarian Society to twelve thoughtful and motivated college students from the college community in Worcester. I am currently pursuing a number of opportunities, but one in particular – assuming the pieces fall in place – will give me the chance to apply my skills as a teacher, researcher, and public historian. Keep your fingers crossed. Continue reading “Looking Ahead to 2016: Research, Writing, and Beyond”

‘Every Student Her Own Historian’

AAS SeminarIt’s hard to believe that my American Studies Seminar at the American Antiquarian Society has come to an end. I first want to thank Paul Erickson for the invitation to teach the seminar. The invitation was both a surprise and an honor. The class could not have been possible without the assistance of Marie Lamoureux and the rest of the curators, who graciously gave of their time each week to talk with my students about the different areas of the AAS’s archival holdings. Continue reading “‘Every Student Her Own Historian’”

Northern High Schools Confront Their Confederate Past

Like many of you I have been following the growing number of public schools that have had to respond to students bringing Confederate flags onto school grounds. This is taking place throughout the country and not just in the South. I’ve read stories of schools as far north as New Hampshire and Minnesota that are currently dealing with this issue. Even more interesting are those Northern schools with deeper ties to Confederate heritage that go back to the 1960s. In my latest column at The Daily Beast I briefly explore two of those schools, one in Walpole, Massachusetts and the other in South Burlington, Vermont. Continue reading “Northern High Schools Confront Their Confederate Past”