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Planting Seeds in Eli Whitney

By Evan Faulkenbury, SOHP Field Scholar

I had never been to Eli Whitney before. Named for the inventor of the cotton gin, Eli Whitney is a hamlet – a crossroads, really – in rural Alamance County, North Carolina. You get there from Chapel Hill by heading due west on Old Greensboro Road for about seventeen miles until it runs into Highway 87. But half a mile before you get there, on the right side of the road you’ll see Concord United Methodist Church. The church sits just before a bend in the road, right next to its cemetery. It’s a small, red brick building with a white steeple, finished in 1961. If you pull into the church’s gravel lot, you’ll see a garden. The garden was what brought me there on March 12, 2015.

I was there to interview Donna Poe. I arrived early, so I parked and walked through the cemetery, around the church, and up to the garden. There were two large sections filled with a variety of fruits and vegetables, and at the end was a cross. Donna pulled up in her pick-up truck after I had lingered only a minute. Poe was in charge of the community garden. She started it only a few years ago through the church, but its popularity had soared. She organizes three workdays per week, and anyone who joins takes home a share of the bounty. Earlier in the month, I had emailed dozens of pastors at churches across the region, asking if they had extraordinary women members who would like to be interviewed for my project on conservative grassroots activism. Donna Poe’s minister recommended her, not as a typical political or social activist, but someone whose faith makes a real difference in the community.

We went inside the church to have the interview. Donna was born on October 13, 1962 in Albany, New York, but home for her had been Spring Hill, Florida. She told me about her family, her work, and how she ended up in North Carolina, moving up here seven years ago with her husband to be closer to her sister.

But the heart of her story was her spiritual journey. She grew up in a Protestant home, but she did not have a personal relationship with God until recently. Once, she and her family visited a church for a special Christmas service:

“And so we went, and somewhere in the middle of the service…it was really weird…it was kind of like what we would equate [to] our time of passing the peace [a form of greeting in church services]. They said, ‘Do you know where you’re going? Do you know where you’re going?’ And they turned to the person to each side of them. And it seemed like people came to us and said, ‘Do you know where you’re going?’ I get chills when I think about it. It was really freaky. And my one son is like, ‘Mom, what’s going on? What are they saying?’ And they were really freaked out about it…I have to only hope and pray and know that God was there throughout all that and there was reason for that, maybe just for me to share the story.”

The implication was that Donna and her family was going to hell if they did not know Jesus. Angry and hurt, they did not return to church for a long time. Years later, a friend led Donna in a prayer to become born-again. Now, she and her husband are active members at Concord United Methodist Church.

Donna’s story was a personal testimony about how she came to know God, a different kind of oral history. She realized that all along, sometimes at odd moments, God was “planting seeds” in her life. The odd Christmas service was one time among many when, looking back, she could “see His presence” guiding her, planting seeds, leading her to where she is today.

Reflection on My First Interview

This blog post was written by SOHP Intern Holly Plouff.

HollyI recently conducted my first professional interview for the Southern Oral History Program, and unfortunately, I learned a lot about this daunting process the hard way. It’s okay though. We learn by trial and error and I have emerged from this process with some good tips that I would like to list for future interviewers:

  1. Don’t set your interview date around a time when there is ANY chance of snow- This was my main problem. Of course we can’t control the weather but it would have been super nice if the heavy snow that fell, just two days before my interview, actually melted. Instead, the snow decided to cling to the ground and because of this, I was not able to travel to my interviewee’s house in Raleigh. Luckily, we live in the 21st century so we resorted to conducting the interview via landline on speakerphone…which leads me to tip #2
  2. Don’t conduct your interview over the phone- Just like the weather, this often can’t be controlled. People live far away, you can’t always get to see them in person, but if you are able to meet in person, then do. The phone led to problems like lower sound quality, echoes from the speakerphone, and lack of visual cues. Is my interviewee thinking about a question or did we lose the connection? Does she have something else to say or is she waiting for me to ask my next question? Is she getting impatient and waiting for me to wrap this up? These were some of the many questions that I asked myself as I sat in an empty room on the phone. I felt awkward about not being able to speak face to face with someone who I had learned so much about, I wanted her to know that I was present and paying attention, which would have been easy to do if we were in the same room but we weren’t so I resorted to showing my presence by making noise…
  3. Talk/make noise as little as possible- The interview isn’t about you. It’s about this endlessly fascinating person and you’re just a lowly intern. I knew that I was supposed to be a quiet part of this process, only speaking when asking questions or prodding, but because I couldn’t see my interviewee, I did things like chuckle, say “mhmm,” and audibly agree with points. Hopefully this isn’t too noticeable to people in the future who may have to use my interview for research, but it meant that I got to hear my various noises and affirmations while editing and writing about the interview. There would be a nice anecdote, a good flow, and then my horrible chuckle. I don’t regret this sin as much because it actually did help to prove that I was present, it’s just not fun to hear yourself on a recording over and over again when you’re working on edits and writing the tape log.

Don’t let my negativity affect your outlook on the interview process. I had a great time and learned more than just what not to do. Unfortunately these circumstances couldn’t be controlled but I couldn’t have asked for a more understanding and eager interviewee. I look forward to my next interview because the chances of snow are now minuscule so I have hope for a more personal and pleasant experience.

Holly Plouff
SOHP Communications intern
Class of 2018

Making Connections Across North Carolina Landscapes

Dixon, Kate PHOTO TWO

Kate Dixon is executive director of the Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, based in Raleigh, N.C.

Interview and blog post by Rob Shapard

Kate Dixon moved to the Triangle about twenty-five years ago, and she has played a meaningful role ever since in shaping the natural landscape of this region and the state of North Carolina. Dixon started work for the Triangle Land Conservancy in Raleigh and later became that land trust’s executive director, helping the trust to conserve some 4,000 acres during her years there. She moved on from the Triangle Land Conservancy in 2003 to lead the Land for Tomorrow coalition, and then took her current job as executive director of the Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail in 2008.

The hiking trail runs cross-state between Clingmans Dome in western North Carolina and Jockey’s Ridge on the Outer Banks, covering some 1,100 miles through a diverse range of natural landscapes and local communities. The route currently includes approximately 620 miles of constructed trails, and hikers use designated low-traffic roads to cross the gaps between trail sections. Dixon and the Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail (FMST) continue to work on closing those gaps by completing new trail sections, while a large network of FMST volunteers scrupulously maintain the existing sections. Dixon’s organization also has developed a large amount of detailed information about the trail for people who are interesting in experiencing it.

“It’s just an extraordinary way to see the state and learn about places,” Dixon says about the MST trail. “People did [the trail] who grew up in North Carolina and think they know everything [about N.C.], but once you’re out there walking it, it’s really such an extraordinary experience, and you learn so much that you didn’t know before.”

Dixon recorded an oral history recently with the Southern Oral History Program, as one of the first interviews in a series at SOHP focusing on people actively engaged in environmental issues in the South. Dixon was born in 1959 near Princeton, N.J., in a community that remained quite rural during her childhood. She and her sister spent many hours playing in the woods around their home or riding horses, and long walks with her father through the neighborhoods, forests, and fields around Princeton also enabled Dixon to connect directly with nature from an early age.

During her childhood, the Dixon family moved to New Delhi, India, for two years, then to Washington, D.C. – two highly urbanized settings where Dixon and her siblings nonetheless sought out green spaces to explore. In D.C., the family lived a block from the old Chesapeake & Ohio Canal along the Potomac River, which is a national park today. Dixon recalled playing along the canal structures, and the steep cliffs and a waterfall at the river where she liked to sit and “think deep, teen-age thoughts,” she chuckled.

One of the “big picture” questions the SOHP asked Dixon during her interview was, “How do you envision the ideal relationship between people and our natural environment, i.e. the most healthy and sustainable relationship? Can you describe what that would look like?” That’s a very difficult question, Dixon replied. “And I don’t know that I have a good answer. I mean, honestly, there are lots of times when I just don’t know where we’re going. When I feel like that, I think, ‘I’m going to work on my small part, and do the best I can.’”

Still, Dixon also mentioned some specific issues and actions that she feels are critical, which could be seen as pieces of an overall vision, the “small part” of the larger issue on which she seeks to make an impact. For example, she pointed to all the driving that people do every day – including her own driving – and the related issue of auto emissions. She also talked about her love for working with the volunteers who maintain the Mountains-to-Sea trail sections and work on adding sections, and her love for engaging with residents in communities where new trail sections are envisioned. In those interactions, Dixon says, the FMST has an opportunity to help those local people put their own passion for the land into action. So working on her small part for Dixon means empowering volunteers and local residents, as well as protecting as much land as possible through the work of land trusts.

Check back with the SOHP in the coming weeks to hear the entire interview with Dixon (at the interview database on sohp.org), and listen to a short clip from the interview here, as she describes a meaningful meeting between two long-time Bladen County, N.C., residents, one a white man and the other a black woman, during local planning for a new section of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail:

The Database is Always Open

This post was written by Fall 2014 SOHP undergraduate intern Megan Cross.

IMG_1318This semester, I interned with the SOHP with a focus on mining the archives. I’ve become intimately familiar with the database, but I know that there’s still so much that I haven’t seen. It’s truly limitless, and personally I’ve listened to interviews from a broad expanse of time – from suffragist activities in 1910 to reproductive justice and Moral Monday protests in 2013. I find myself referencing the stories of interviewees in daily conversation, and typically people seem to appreciate them as much as I do. I have a few personal favorites – one of which is the story of a woman who was dating a draft dodger during the Vietnam War. He asked her to chop off his finger with a machete, and because she was in love with him, she did it. I’ll also never forget the story of a girl growing up as an immigrant in 1950s Brooklyn. She was Jewish and spoke Yiddish with her family, but in her neighborhood people spoke Italian, Russian, Spanish, and a multitude of other languages. She grew up fluent in four or five languages because of the diversity she was surrounded with. When she would visit her friend’s for play-dates, she would speak the language of their family. As an undergrad struggling with just one language, it’s stories like these that amaze me.

However, I’ve really enjoyed discovering the oral histories that address issues that are still relevant today. We completed a project focused on bringing historical voices to the AdvaNCe Women’s Summit, and a podcast about feminism. We created an educational podcast about Women’s Suffrage, which was addressed in a matter of two pages in my high school AP US History textbook. We spent a day on it in class, maybe two – but it’s so important to recognize the struggle those women overcame. I also took AP European History in high school, and we focused on the expansion of suffrage in England for a few days. The riots, protests, and violence associated with expanding the male vote was covered thoroughly, but why is it that I can’t remember what was said about women?

I believe that history is important. I think that everyone should understand the past and our place in it, and oral history is a new and more intimate way to do so. You listen to someone tell you their life story, and you identify with them, gaining a new understanding about history in the process. I think that there’s so much to learn, and if you’re interested in learning more…the database is always open.

Looking Back at SOHP in Fall 2014

This blog post was written by SOHP Director Malinda Maynor Lowery

loweryHappy Holidays! Things are so busy around the Center for the Study of the American South that it’s easy to lose track of all we are accomplishing at SOHP. So just to help me keep my head on straight, I asked each of our staff members and graduate students to share the top three things from their work this semester that gave them the most pride. Even though it doesn’t encompass nearly all of what we’ve done since August, it’s such a rich list that I wanted to share it. Everyone participated in what you see here—this is truly a collaborative effort. Enjoy this sampling (in no particular order):

  1. Developing research and collecting partnerships with Wilson Library (on the Moral Monday movement), the Center for the Study of the American South (on the Historic Black Towns Alliance project), and the department of American Studies (on our Back Ways project, for which we submitted a $260,000 grant proposal to the NEH in December). Field Scholar Darius Scott was instrumental in developing the NEH grant. Nurturing our relationship with Wilson is one of Coordinator of Collections’ Jaycie Vos’s most important and ongoing duties; she and Field Scholar Katie Womble also worked to finish accessioning a landmark collection, the interviews related to E. Patrick Johnson’s book Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South. Furthermore, Darius, Katie, and Evan Faulkenbury completed 12 interviews this fall on topics including rural development to conservative political activism to the first female faculty members at UNC.
  2. 09202014_JaquelynDowdHall_retirement174Celebrating the accomplishments and contributions of our Founding Director, Jacquelyn Dowd Hall, in September. In the words of SOHP’s Administrative Support Associate, Rachel Olsen, “seeing how much it meant to all of her students, colleagues, family, and HER was priceless!” Jaycie noted, “it was inspiring and humbling to see the depth and richness of her career at SOHP and beyond, and it clarified and solidified how much excitement and strength the SOHP has moving into the future.” It was honor for all of us to participate.
  3. Three of Jacquelyn’s former students have helped us launch a $60,000 endowment, the Jacquelyn Dowd Hall Summer Research Fellowship Fund. This endowment will provide $3,000 every summer to a graduate student doing research in oral history. Thanks to over two dozen former students, friends, and colleagues, we are almost halfway to our fundraising goal! Please click here to learn more and invest in SOHP’s future.
  4. Expanding the reach of oral history onto our campus and state. We are all proud of Associate Director Rachel Seidman’s involvement in the 2nd annual North Carolina Women’s Summit, where she has used oral history research to place policies about education, health care, labor and others issues into a critical context. Rachel also leads a new effort to collaborate with K-12 teachers on using oral history in the classroom. Rachel and Field Scholar Taylor Livingston have mentored our undergraduate interns this fall through a project on women’s leadership, which culminated in a podcast they developed called “Rebellion.” Check it out here and watch for more podcasts and audio pieces coming from SOHP in the future. On teaching the undergraduates, Taylor said she was proud that “students actually paid close attention to what I told them about women’s history—the title of their final performance was taken from something I mentioned to them in class the very first day.” Field Scholar Evan Faulkenbury remarked on one faculty member’s response to an oral history workshop he gave for her large lecture class: “she told me the workshop really motivated students to take their oral history project more seriously.” These are the moments we live for as teachers.
  5. internsStaying on the cutting edge of national conversations in our field and associated areas of study. We participated in this fall’s Oral History Association conference, and Jaycie recalled her pride in how the conference evidenced SOHP’s effective collaborations over the years. Jaycie herself has since initiated a metadata committee at OHA and published an article in the online journal South Writ Large. Our work on foodways also continues to receive national attention, as we introduced the nation to the Lumbee collard sandwich and tri-racial segregation with the support of the Southern Foodways Alliance. Watch Southern Cultures’ spring food issue for more! Rachel Olsen and Jaycie Vos have also been steadily experimenting with and revising our website, and we will launch a new version in the spring.

“Seeing small changes have a big effect feels great,” said Rachel Olsen. This sums up one of the things I am most proud of—how we as a community here at the Love House, and beyond, show up every day to do the tiny, mostly unrecognized tasks of our work; between posting to social media, editing transcripts, scheduling meetings, and having small conversations that go big places (like the monthly colloquia that Evan organizes). I could go on and on—I am so grateful for the way SOHP and CSAS shows such dedication to UNC-Chapel Hill’s mission in teaching, research, and service.

A History Student Discovering Oral History

This blog post was written by Fall 2014 SOHP Undergraduate Intern Rachel Worsham

Photo on 8-27-14 at 12.52 PMAs a history student at UNC, naturally, I spend most of my semester holed up in the library drowning in research paper after research paper. Doesn’t sound that bad, right? Well, not so much. Hours and hours of staring at books and jotting down hundreds of quotes had me asking, “Is this really the only way to experience history?” I could not pinpoint this in my earlier semesters, but I have come to realize that I was not turned off by the research itself, but with my sources, which were solely written. With this type of source, I felt I was not able to accurately understand the character of my research subject, and, for the most part, I was encountering the same type of author (those that were literate, wealthy, and prestigious enough to be published). It was not until I began my internship with the SOHP did I realize that the cure to my frustrations was staring me right in the face.

Studying and participating in the collection of oral history gave my interest in historical research a new lease on life. I discovered that experiencing history aurally rather than through text allowed me to better understand the speaker and his or her place in history. Oral history has the unique ability to capture not only the accent and inflection in a subject’s voice, but also the emotion exposed when speaking. This gives the historian the opportunity to put a voice and a distinct personality with each name and picture. Oral history certainly gave me the tools that I needed to finally fully understand my research subjects, allowing me to depict them more honestly and interpret them more effectively.

Perhaps my most favorite aspect of oral history is its focus on not only society’s elite movers and shakers, but also ordinary people. Over the years, I’ve found that it is very difficult to find the stories of your average student, janitor, or teacher in the University’s library. Without these testimonies it’s rather challenging to piece together an accurate historical record of a significant event. More importantly, without the stories of everyday people, whose story are we telling? Certainly it’s not a story everyone can relate to, as we are all not high-ranking activists, politicians, or intellectuals. In my experience, learning about feminism from local students, professors, and townspeople has allowed me to form an in-depth understanding of the movement and its effect on women like myself.

If my time with the SOHP has taught me anything, it’s that everyone’s life story is valuable and, as so well stated in our motto, “you don’t have to be famous for your life to be history.”

Fall 2014 SOHP Intern Final Performance

Our Fall 2014 undergraduate interns will be presenting their work at the Love House & Hutchins Forum on Wednesday, December 10th, 2014 at 3:00PM. Their work this semester has focused on women’s history at UNC. Stay tuned for more details! Pictured: Spring 2014 interns Aaron Hayworth, Turner Henderson, Coco Wilder, and Katie Crook performing their final project, April 2014

November Events with Paul Stekler, Dan Carter, and Lana Garland

CSAS and SOHP are hosting two events in November surrounding the topic of Southern Race & Politics on Film. For more information, see the event pages for the 11/18 panel discussion and the 11/19 film screening. These events are free and open to the public, and are co-sponsored by the Southern Documentary Fund and the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke.

SOHP Internship: Now Accepting Applications

We’re now accepting applications for the Spring 2015 SOHP Undergraduate Internship! Due Friday, November 7th. For more information and a copy of the application, visit our internship page.

History, Poetry, and Public History Practice

This essay was originally presented by Marla Miller as part of a panel discussion at the Symposium and Celebration in Honor of Jacquelyn Dowd Hall on September 20th, 2014.

09202014_JaquelynDowdHall_retirement007Those of you whose work engages the world of public history may know that a conversation has unfolded in recent years over the nature of that enterprise. Is public history a field? A discipline?  A subfield?  A methodology?   For a long time, my answer to that question has been that public history is essentially a demeanor, a way of orienting oneself and one’s scholarship to the world at large.  And as I contemplated ways that my work as a public historian today intersects with the training I received from Jacquelyn, I realized how fundamentally my own scholarly demeanor was shaped by my studies here.

I could talk about what it meant to witness a history practice that seamlessly combined activism and analysis.  I could talk about the public debate on the “relevance” of the humanities, and what I learned here about putting history into action to make sense of—and change—the world.  But in the end, like many of the contributors to this conversation today, I found myself coming back again and again to the craft of writing.  So I want to talk about writing itself as constitutive of the best public history practice, and a fundamental part of what I have learned from Jacquelyn.

In many ways these remarks circle back to points made at the start of the day by Jennifer Donnelly, and Anna Krome-Lukens’ comments about Jacquelyn’s prose as models of storytelling and narrative arc.  That so many of us today have wanted to underscore the importance for us of Jacquelyn’s inspiring prose is really moving to me; she sets the bar high—and just think of the multiplier effect here, all of this quality literature launched into the world as a result.  But good writing isn’t just effective communication; our best writing helps us think the big thoughts.  In her 1998 article “You must remember this,” which others have quoted from today, Jacquelyn quoted the poet and novelist Robert Penn Warren, who said that “historical sense and poetic sense should not, in the end, be contradictory, for if poetry is the little myth we make, history is the big myth we live, and in our living constantly remake.”  As she encouraged her readers to see the poetry in and of history, Jacquelyn urged us to embrace “writing that emphasizes not our expertise but our common condition, writing that troubles the boundaries between poetics and politics, memory and history, witnessing and writing, acting and research.”

For me, this isn’t advice only for history-writing. Instead, it resonates with the specific values that infuse public history practice.  In the Feminist Studies article from which this panel’s title is drawn, her essay “Second Thoughts,” and other places too, Jacquelyn writes about writing itself: how we craft beginnings and endings; how we piece stories together, leaping across evidentiary islands to build what looks like a coherent picture, if only in retrospect; how we learn, re-learn and unlearn.  That’s exactly the sort of “reflective practice” that public historians have been talking about lately in the pages of our own blogs and journals—the need to foreground the processes by which we work, throwing open doors and drawing back curtains so that that our audiences can’t help but see inside the practice of our craft.   This is new to conversations among public historians, but it occurs to me that Jacquelyn has been modeling this sort of scholarly transparency for a long time (another way she’s been “pioneering,” a word we’ve heard again and again today), and I’ve come to see it as part of the way she has trained generations of public historians.

I can hardly articulate what a revelation her essay on “second thoughts” was to me. We’ve talked a good deal today about the many ways Jacquelyn’s deeply humane approach to the men and women of the past has inspired us, but I’m grateful for how she helped me think about our own humanity as scholars.  Scholars, it turns out, are people, too—people who think and evolve, circle back to old questions with fresh perspective, continue to grapple with ideas after the seeming finality of publication, even change their minds.  This is to second Jen Ritterhouse’s observation earlier today about the ways Jacquelyn has modeled the “scholar in process;” that transparency is a quality that has meant a lot to me, at Chapel Hill and in the years since, and has become a fundamental part of my own scholarly practice.

“Writing that emphasizes not our expertise but our common condition” also says something about genre.  It means traditional scholarship, yes, but other forms as well.  Getting historians to publish in a range of venues is critically important to maintaining the activist stance we need to confront the ongoing challenge to the value of the humanities.  We must think much more broadly about the genres in which we write, and embrace ALL of them, not just the strangely narrow range that defines much of academic practice.  At dinner last night, Jacquelyn was simply beaming as she told me about Katy Simpson Smith’s historical novel Story of Land and Sea.  Not all advisors, I think, would be as elated to see a student translate their expertise into fiction, but I’m not at all surprised that Jacquelyn is.  I didn’t think twice about pursuing a trade biography of Betsy Ross when that felt like the right thing to do, and others of Jacquelyn’s students—and Jacquelyn herself—have made important contributions and interventions in the form of op-eds, grey literature, and fiction.  The pride that was evident on Jacquelyn’s face as she described Katy’s work is a testimony to how she has made her students feel like all these forms of expression are not only legitimate, but essential for historians to pursue.   I’ve been thinking about a course on the history of the historical novel as public history practice for a while and now feel re-energized about that—so already this event is catalyzing new relationships and new enterprises.

I also remember (Anna talked about this this morning, and Bryant Simon a bit too) that Jacquelyn taught me to notice words, recommending that I keep a notebook of words I encounter that resonate for me.  I still do that today: flip to the back of any book I’m reading and in the endpapers you’ll find lists of verbs, nouns and adjectives that struck me as useful. In recent years I’ve begun reading a lot of poetry, which is especially productive for word-hunters.  It seems telling to me that both Kathy Nasstrom and I would see poetry as relevant to our conversation today, because I believe there’s a fairly direct relationship between my training here and my interest in poetry now.   There is another little course I’ve been contemplating for some time now—and maybe someday a little book, too—called “Poetry for Historians.”  When it happens, I now realize that its roots, too, will be found here in Chapel Hill.

Toward that end, over a recent vacation I was reading Jay Parini’s Why Poetry Matters. On poetry, historians & metaphor, and the importance of the reading of poetry to the craft of history, he points out the deep need to understand the strengths and limits of metaphor & analogy. (We “might, for example examine the phrase ‘war on terror’ as an implicit metaphor in need of serious deconstruction.”)  One of my favorite passages in Jacquelyn’s writing, and one that offers its own powerful metaphor, comes from the essay “Open Secrets,” which reflects on the nature of the biographical enterprise, an interest Jacquelyn and I share.  Her grappling with her responsibility to the Lumpkins of the past and of the present certainly helped prepare me to engage both the historical figure of Betsy Ross and her many modern-day descendants. As I struggled to balance my desire to set Ross’s record straight with my deep respect for those who steward her memory, and wrestled with my own relationship to a woman who was necessarily to some extent a product of my own historical imagination, I found myself thinking about similar strains in Jacquelyn’s work.  As she writes, “What is so tantalizing and poignant about biography…are the feelings of love and responsibility it generates, the intimacy it simultaneously frustrates and invites, the tension it produces between respect for privacy and lust for knowledge, and the way it can position even the most respectful author as an intruder, a thief in the houses of the living and the dead.”

“A thief in the houses of the living and the dead.” That’s as close as prose gets to poetry.  And those emotions and tensions—it’s hard to think of a more eloquent expression of the demeanor that underpins core public history concepts like “shared authority” than that.  And so I’d like to suggest that thinking about Jacquelyn as a writer helps explain all the public historians in the room today, and among Jacquelyn’s students.  Anna’s remarks about becoming less cynical and more empathetic, Bryant’s remarks about the deep humanity of her work—I too recognize that this has all been part of my training as a public historian.  When I was a student here in the 1990s, I might have said that my training in public history was coming from places off campus:  a summer at the Southern Historical Collection, or the internship at the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts.  But I’d have been wrong.   At the foundation of my practice as a public historian—the most important part—are the values, priorities and scholarly demeanor that Jacquelyn modeled for me, and for other public historians who took their first steps into the field here.