As is my habit at the end of the year, I took a few minutes this morning to reflect on the past twelve months–to note the achievements and ponder how to make next year even more productive and full of joy. (Happily, when you love your work, those two goals tend go hand in hand!)
Personally and professionally, for me, 2016 was great. I reached a number of milestones, expanded my client base, and began applying my expertise to a wider range of historical endeavors.
Perhaps the most exciting news of the year was that my book, Interpreting LGBT History at Museums and Historic Sites, won the 2016 book award from the National Council on Public History! It was such an honor. And, coincidentally, for the next few days, the book is on sale at the publisher’s website. You can save 35% by using the code RLWEB3516.
In other publication news, the National Park Service released its LGBTQ Heritage Theme Study, to which I contributed (and about which you can read here). I published a book review (and just submitted another one!) in CHOICE and an exhibit review in The Public Historian. In addition, I published three articles:
- “Sitting In, Speaking Out: Pennsylvania’s Revolutionary Homophile Movement,” Pennsylvania Legacies (June 2016).
- “Dewey’s Lunch Counter Sit-In,” Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia (2016).
- “Award Winner Spotlight,” History@Work (March 2016).
This year, I also co-facilitated a learning lab–“LGBTQ for Me and You”–at the PastForward conference, the annual gathering of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Speaking at this conference is by invitation only, so it was an honor to be invited. In addition, this past year I served on the plenary panel of the Hoosier Women at Work conference; presented at the American Association for State and Local History, The Future of History Graduate Education, and the Organization of American Historians conferences; and gave talks at the University of Massachusetts, IUPUI, President Lincoln’s Cottage, and the Van Abbemuseum.
When I wasn’t writing or speaking, I was consulting, and 2016 saw me begin working with a number of new clients. They include:
- The Center for Sexual Health Promotion,
- Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site,
- The Woodlands National Historic Landmark,
- as well as multiple projects with the National Park Service.
I look forward to writing more about these projects in the new year! I also did some pro bono consulting with the Congressional Commission on an American Women’s History Museum, which recently submitted its report to Congress and the President of the United States.
Finally, during 2016 I began to stretch myself a bit intellectually. Although much of my work the past few years has focused on women’s history and LGBTQ interpretation in museums, I am in the process of reaching out to encompass other areas of expertise. I served as acting executive director of the National Council on Public History for three months this past summer, and I am currently working on multiple historic preservation projects as well as an article on the history of sexuality more generally (that is, beyond LGBTQ expressions).
What a year! I can’t wait to see what new adventures 2017 brings along.