Graduate Historical Society, Evening Lecture: “From Graduate School to Public History and Federal Opportunities,” Dr. John Sprinkle, Bureau Historian for the National Park Service. Wednesday, March 26, 7:00pm, location TBA.

The Graduate Historical Society, the History Department and Graduate School at the College of Charleston, and the Carolina Lowcountry and Atlantic World program will be presenting an evening lecture by Dr. John Sprinkle on Wednesday, March 26. Dr. Sprinkle is the Bureau Historian for the National Park Service and author of Crafting Preservation Criteria: The National Register of Historic Places and American Historic Preservation. He will be speaking about careers in public history, employment opportunities for historians with the federal government, and how to prepare for post-graduate school positions related to history.

The joint MA program in History at the Citadel and the College of Charleston has continually worked to provide opportunities for young historians to develop skills that translate into employment beyond graduate school. Dr. Sprinkle’s academic background as a historian, which transitioned into public history work at the federal level, provides a unique perspective for graduate history students who want to branch out from post-grad careers in teaching or Ph.D. programs. In addition, his experience with grant writing, research, and doctoral work is invaluable for those students hoping to continue their graduate education and historical research. Building off the mission of CLAW to promote scholarship on the Lowcountry, and public understanding of this region and its place in a broader international context, the GHS intends for this lecture to inform graduate students about the opportunities of public history initiatives in Charleston and the surrounding areas, while also exploring ways in which MA graduates can contribute to this research and present information to the public. With the help of the Carolina Lowcountry and Atlantic World program, we hope that this lecture will further develop our established commitment to provide opportunities for post-MA students.

The Graduate Historical Society would like to thank Dr. John White and the CLAW program for their generous support for this event, as well as Dr. Amy McCandless, the Dean of the Graduate School, and Dr. Jason Coy, program director of Master of Arts in History, without whom this event would not be possible.

Mark Auslander’s New Article: “Touching the Past”

Check out Mark Auslander‘s new article “Touching the Past: Materializing Time in Traumatic “Living History” Reenactments” in the open access journal Signs and Society.

Auslander’s article includes a discussion of the reenacted slave auction in the March 22, 1865 Charleston emancipation procession.

Many living history reenactors speak of “touching the past” in their performances. In nearly all instances, these profound experiences of intimate traffic with previous epochs and persons are brought about not through physical contact with historical artifacts but through deployments of replicas and props, including recently produced adornment, weaponry, vehicles, and tools. This essay explores the roles and functions of material reproductions or substitutes of historic artifacts in reenactment performances, and how these object-oriented practices often bring about powerful sensations of historic authenticity on the part of reenactors and their audiences. Auslander gives particular attention to the use of physical objects by those who seek to reenact traumatic events and experiences related to American histories of racial injustice, including experiences of slavery and Jim Crow racial violence.