Dispatches from the Front: 2016 Pohanka Interns Explore Public History

By Jill Titus

Every summer, we feature posts on the blog that provide a behind-the-scenes view of what it’s like to work on the frontlines of history. Our contributors – Gettysburg College students doing summer internships under the auspices of CWI’s Brian C. Pohanka Internship Program – share their experiences giving tours of some of the nation’s leading historic sites, talking with visitors, and working with historical artifacts, educational programs, and archival collections. This summer, our Pohanka interns will be blogging on a wide assortment of questions dealing with interpretation of historic sites, battlefield monuments and historical memory, changes in archival practice, exploring race and gender at historic house museums, and the complicated relationship between material culture, identity, and the archaeological record.

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Over the course of the next few weeks, we’ll be featuring a series of student reflections on these topics. Readers interested learning more about the issues the students will be discussing may want to consult the following books:

David Blight, Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory (Belknap Press, 2002)

Jessica Foy Donnelly, ed., Interpreting Historic House Museums (AltaMira, 2002)

John R. Gillis, Commemorations: The Politics of National Identity (Princeton University Press, 1994)

James O. Horton and Lois E. Horton, Slavery and Public History: The Tough Stuff of Memory (The New Press, 2006)

Kirk Savage, Standing Soldiers, Kneeling Slaves: Race, War, and Monument in 19th-Century America (Princeton University Press, 1999)

Freeman Tilden, Interpreting Our Heritage, 4th Edition (University of North Carolina Press, 2008)

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