In addition to my research and teaching, I have been involved in a variety of digital and public projects that make history more accessible to a wider audience.
Colgate University (2016-present)
As part of Colgate’s interdisciplinary Museum Studies faculty, I have renewed my engagement with rapid response collecting projects in the wake of the 2017 Women’s Marches, and drawing on my experiences as part of the Museum of the City of New York staff team charged with collections work after the attacks of September 11, 2001. I regularly consult on collecting projects and speak with graduate and undergraduate student groups about this growing priority of U.S. history museums. This consulting has dovetailed with my academic writing on museums collecting for women’s and gender history, eBay auctions as material religion, and the role of family collections in American religious history.
Bryn Mawr College (2014-2016)
At Bryn Mawr I worked on the project team developing College Women: Documenting the History of Women in Higher Education, which launched in May 2015 with the support of a NEH Foundations grant. [Read our August 2015 white paper, here.] In May 2015, I convened Women’s History in the Digital World, the second conference of the Greenfield Digital Center, featuring more than 130 participants and a keynote by historian Claire Bond Potter.
Additionally, I was involved in projects and events that are aimed at engaging undergraduate students with special collections research, and documenting more contemporary and diverse histories in the college archives. I advised independent study projects with digital components designed by Bryn Mawr College students, including:
- Black at Bryn Mawr, by Emma Kioko ’15 and Grace Pusey ’15
- “We Are/We Have Always Been”: A Multi-Linear History of LGBT Experiences at Bryn Mawr College, by Brenna Levitin ’16
In Spring 2016 I taught an upper-level public history seminar, “History in Public: Race, Gender, and Campus History.” For more about this work, see the blog I edited for the Greenfield Digital Center for the History of Women’s Education, Educating Women and Bryn Mawr College’s accounting of recent projects Recovering and Uncovering College Histories (updated March 2023).
Closeted/Out in the Quadrangles: A LGBTQ History of the University of Chicago
(Project Co-Coordinator, 2011-2015)
As co-coordinator of the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality’s (CSGS) multi-year project to document the stories of LGBTQ faculty, staff, and alumni of the University of Chicago, I organized the work of undergraduate student interns collecting oral histories, planned coursework on the history of sexuality, and developed a public history lecture series bringing visiting scholars to campus to discuss the role of gender and sexuality studies in the field of public history.
An exhibition drawing on the oral histories, curated by project co-coordinator Lauren Stokes, was on view at the University of Chicago Special Collections Research Center from March 30-June 12, 2015. For more on the project, see:
- Closeted/Out exhibition catalog (2015)
- UChicago News: “Exhibition documents history of LGBTQ life at UChicago” by Susie Allen (March 25, 2015)
- “A Desire for History: Students Build a Queer Archive,” by Joanne M. Berens (March 2, 2015)
- In October 2013, I spoke at UChicago Humanities Day about the project’s history, goals, and early findings. To listen to the talk, visit UChicago News.
- For more information on our project goals, visit the CSGS website.
- For more information on my Fall 2013 course, “Sex and Sexualities in Modern U.S. History,” see the course syllabus.
- The University of Chicago Magazine featured two stories on my Spring 2012 course, “Queer on the Quads,” in its Jan-Feb/13 issue: “Queer Review” and “Desire for History.”
- In April 2013 I contributed a post on for The Oral History Review on OUPblog.
- Chicago’s Windy City Times reported on the origins of the project in Spring 2011: “University of Chicago Aims to be Site for Gender and Sexuality Studies.”
Image Credit: University of Chicago students marching at Chicago Pride (1991), Chicago Maroon collection, University of Chicago Photographic Archive, Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.
During the Summer of 2013, I added a weekly dose of #wmnhist to my hometown local history feed, @AlbanyArchives.
“On Equal Terms” – Educating Women at the University of Chicago
- Exhibition catalog, videos, and press release (2009)
- Selected oral history excerpts available on iTunes (2009)
- Press: “Women’s Work” in The University of Chicago Magazine, featuring my undergraduate course “Alma Mater” (2008)
Mapping the Stacks — Uncovering New Chicago Archives Project
- Mapping the Stacks original website and UNCAP database, including my finding aid for the Hope Dunmore/Old Settlers Society Club Collection at the DuSable Museum of African American History (2008)
- Press: “Ph.D. Students Assisting with Uncovering Hidden Collections in City Archives” (2006)
From 2001-2004 I worked at the Museum of the City of New York, where I contributed to a number of exhibitions and public events, including Horn and Hardart’s Automat, The Day Our World Changed: Children’s Art of 9/11, and New York’s Moynihan. I was involved in the effort to collect and preserve materials documenting the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, including removal and restoration of the Bellevue Hospital Wall of Prayer.
I have worked as a museum educator at the University of Chicago’s Smart Museum of Art, the Museum of Jewish Heritage: A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Gardens, and the Fraunces Tavern Museum.
Image Credit: Berenice Abbott, “Automat” (1937). From the Collections of the Museum of the City of New York.