A topic I’m eager to explore in more depth is the built environment of religion on women’s college campuses — connecting threads I’ve pursued since my second year of graduate school, when I wrote pages and pages on the intersection of labor, education, and gender at Mary Lyon’s Mount Holyoke Female Seminary for my religion and history classes while researching a seminar paper on Mundelein, Chicago’s “skyscraper college” for Catholic women.
As I work with the Bryn Mawr College Archives, and on the project team developing College Women: Documenting the History of Women in Higher Education (collegewomen.org) I often think of the questions that many of my students have raised about the role of religion in their college lives, and the ways in which religious and interfaith spaces on college campuses have developed.
I’ve been invited by the Bryn Mawr College Pensby Center to kick off this year’s Diversity Conversations programming with a look at the past, present, and future of the Black at Bryn Mawr project. During 2015-2016, I will continue to manage the project, providing new research and integrating it with my teaching and the work of the Greenfield Digital Center. I feel the loss of the project’s creators, Emma Kioko ’15 and Grace Pusey ’15 greatly — their energy and expertise made Emma’s idea for a Black history walking tour real, and far more successful than we ever could have imagined at this time last year. Our students graduate, and move on in their research and careers; talk of sustainability for campus history projects in the small liberal arts college environment must reflect this.
For those who can not attend the conversation, I am making my slides available via Slideshare, and welcome comments and further questions. Today’s presentation also dovetails with the work I am just beginning as a co-organizer of the 2016 NCPH Working Group “Campus History as Public History,” which is taking applications through October 15, 2015. Can we create best practices for these kinds of projects?
While much of my work at Bryn Mawr moves my research on Catholic women and girls into the larger world of women’s education history — with a particular focus on the Seven Sisters colleges — this week I’ve been enjoying a return to my American religious history roots. With #PopeinPhilly just a few days away, I’ve been tweeting glimpses of the Catholic public culture I’ve been seeing around town (while carrying my Pope Tote, of course) and following Philadelphia-area colleagues who are using the occasion of the Papal Visit in their college classes.
As the trailer teases, “Urban Trinity” is a terrific film, and I’m proud to have had a (very small) part in its making! I’ll update this space when the film and additional educational materials go online, but if you’re in Philadelphia’s 6ABC viewing area, the first two parts will air tonight, Tuesday, September 22, at 7pm (and the third on Sunday, September 27 at midnight) before a sold-out World Premiere at the World Meeting of Families film festival Wednesday, September 23. For more information, visit the Urban Trinity website here, or follow the latest news from the production team on Facebook.
With the support of two weeks paid research leave from Bryn Mawr College Special Collections, I was able to participate in two research seminars over the past month that will help me move forward my dissertation research into new projects (more on those soon!)
For the moment, I’m using Storify to share the conversations started in Worcester and New York:
I’ve had the pleasure of advising a number of projects at Bryn Mawr during my first year, including Black at Bryn Mawr, designed and researched by Grace Pusey and Emma Kioko, graduating seniors. Emma and Grace have taken an important public-facing, place-based approach to rewriting narratives of the College’s history; you can read more about the project here.
I’m thrilled to return to the University of Chicago on Wednesday, April 1, for the Gala Opening of Closeted/Out in the Quadrangles: A History of LGBTQ Life at the University of Chicago, curated by Lauren Stokes, and based on the oral history project I coordinated from 2011-2014. If you’re in Chicago, please join us at the opening event, visit the exhibit during its run at Regenstein Library, and save the date for our Alumni Weekend curators panel in June. Details below:
It’s gratifying to see this research come to life, and I look forward to celebrating the generosity of our 95 oral history narrators, the many undergraduate students who worked as research assistants and oral history interviewers on the project, and the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality, which trusted us to make history.
This semester I’m back in the classroom, teaching a History Department seminar, “Higher Education for Women: Bryn Mawr and Beyond.” With apologies to Professor Samuel Claggett Chew (pictured left), my class of smart Bryn Mawr third- and fourth-years looks absolutely nothing like the lecture class of old. We divide our time between the classroom, Special Collections, and a course blog** linking past and present.
That blog, along with links to my syllabus and digital resources, is now live:
Although my students aren’t tweeting this semester, I’m tracking my class prep on Twitter (reviving the hashtag #bmchistory) and I look forward to using this space for reflecting on teaching the course and the research that it inspires.
** Students were given the option to blog anonymously, although no student has yet to choose this option. On student privacy and class blogging (or other instances of student work online that may be publicly visible), I’ve consulted this list of resources collected by Whittier College DigLibArts.
Perhaps because our conference CFP is due later this week, I spent a lot of time at AHA thinking about how conferences bring us together, and about how we can support each other and build audiences for our work.
It’s finals week at Bryn Mawr, which means that campus is getting quieter by the day. But for historians, the December break also requires getting ready for the American Historical Association (AHA) annual meeting, held the first weekend of the new year. On Sunday, January 4, I’ll be chairing a fantastic session organized by Penn State graduate student Kathryn Falvo, featuring work at the intersection of women’s and gender history and the digital humanities. We’ll be joined by new University of Virginia Ph.D. Tamika Richeson, and Dr. Wendy E. Chmielewski, George Cooley Curator of the Swarthmore College Peace Collection.
Set your alarm clocks: we’re scheduled for a 9am start, discussing topics central to the Greenfield Digital Center’s mission: