We’ve reached finals week here at IUPUI, and my pursuit of a Master’s degree in history with a concentration in public history is coming to a rapid conclusion. Graduation is next Sunday, May 11, and I’ve got family from Wisconsin, Missouri, and Alabama coming for the festivities. I am excited about finishing this degree, but I don’t think the finality of everything has hit me quite yet. I still have a few projects I need to finish and I’ll still be working for the National Council on Public History through the end of the month, so there is still work to be done. After May, however, it looks like some big changes are coming for me professionally and personally. Not everything is set in stone at this point, but I’ll be sharing more information with readers in the very near future.
Meanwhile, here is a list of my upcoming publications.
- My Master’s thesis on the Grand Army of the Republic, Department of Indiana, is complete. The title is “Kindling the Fires of Patriotism: The Grand Army of the Republic, Department of Indiana, 1866-1949” and will soon be freely available as a pdf through IUPUIScholarworks, the University Library’s digital open access portal for theses, dissertations, and doctoral papers. Theses and dissertations are often branded by people in and out of the academy as unreadable works of jargon written without any consideration of the needs of potential readers. I’ve done my absolute best to write this study with clear, readable prose, and I look forward to sharing my scholarship with readers once the thesis is uploaded to Scholarworks.
- Throughout this Spring semester I’ve been working on turning chapter two of my thesis into a journal article. This chapter analyzes the changing nature of Memorial Day in Indiana and discusses the Indiana GAR’s struggle to preserve the holiday’s meaning in the years after the Civil War. GAR veterans established the holiday as a day for grave decorating and remembrance of the Union dead, but veterans soon found themselves fighting against the desires of a new generation of Hoosiers who wanted to use the holiday for more leisurely or commercial purposes. I don’t know where this proposed article will land right now, but I am hopeful that it will be published in a scholarly journal soon.
- I have a magazine article about the conflict between Union and Confederate veterans in the naming of the American Civil War around the turn of the twentieth century that is slated for release this summer. History is Now–a new history website and publishing venture out of London, UK–will be publishing the article.
- I wrote an essay about the state of international public history that is currently being reviewed by the editorial team at History@Work, the National Council on Public History’s official blog. I’ve always felt that public historians should work to learn about public history practices in Canada, Europe, and other parts of the world, and I offer suggestions and questions for encouraging the growth of public history outside the United States.
- My first professional book review is included in the newest issue of Southern Historian(Volume XXXV, Spring 2014, pages 128-129), which is published by the University of Alabama. I reviewed Bruce E. Baker and Brian Kelly’s edited collection After Slavery: Race, Labor, and Citizenship in the Reconstruction South, which was published by the University Press of Florida last year. Long review short, I really enjoyed this book and loved its unique focus on labor policies at the state and local levels during the Reconstruction Era (1865-1877) and beyond (a couple essays go up to 1900).
- My second professional book review is slated for publication in the next issue of Museums and Social Issues, which is published by Left Coast Press. I reviewed Robert C. Post’s wonderful book Who Owns America‘s Past?: The Smithsonian and the Problem of History, which was published by Johns Hopkins University Press last year. For those interested, I shared some additional thoughts about Who Owns America’s Past? in a blog post back in December.
There’s a lot to be excited about these days.