Year in Review: 2018 Speaking and Writing

In addition to tackling a slew of interesting projects in 2018, I also spent a good amount of time out on the road, giving talks and workshops, or hunkered down in my scribble den, writing essays.

When in public mode, I traversed across twenty-two states, as well as visiting South Africa and Portugal (but the international trips were vacation more than work). I covered much of this ground on a spring public history tour, which took me in a (perhaps over-ambitious) circle from Indiana to Arkansas to the Mid-Atlantic, then by train (!) to California and Nevada, before looping back around to Indiana, my home base.

I spoke about LGBTQ Historic Preservation at public talks sponsored by Hendrix College and Preservation Maryland; about life as an independent scholar at the Organization of American Historians conference in Sacramento; and about my contributions to LGBTQ America, the National Park Service theme study on LGBTQ heritage, at the American Historical Association conference in Washington, DC. This past fall, I also gave a talk on Interpreting the History of Sexuality at Historic Sites for the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) conference in Kansas City, and this topic was chosen as one of five conference sessions to be repeated as part of the organization’s one-day virtual conference, in addition to the live conference. You can hear the audio of our live session by selecting “#4: Getting Sexy at Historic Sites” at this page.

Image of a statue that appears to be standing at a podium
So many talks…

In addition to public lectures, I also led a workshop on Professional Networking for graduate students at Indiana University and on LGBTQ Public History for National Park Service staff and their partners in Washington, DC. And I accomplished a professional dream of mine by serving on faculty at the History Leadership Institute, a three-week intensive residential seminar of historians working at museums, historic sites, and historical societies. At the Institute, I partnered with Modupe Labode to facilitate a session on confronting institutional barriers to diversity and inclusion.

And in March, I made my podcast debut in an interview with PreserveCast, whose tagline is “where preservation and technology meet!”

Then, there was all the writing. I sent four essays off to the publisher in 2018, which means you may be seeing my by-line frequently in 2019, when all are due to come out in print.

Image of Colorado Landscape
Sometimes a gal just needs to hop a four-day cross-country train to see some sights, ponder, and get some writing done.
  • I revised my LGBTQ Theme Study article for inclusion in a forthcoming textbook, LGBTQ Preservation and Place, edited by Megan Springate and Katherine Crawford-Lackey (Berghahn Books).
  • I wrote a chapter called “Where the Magic Happened: Historic Homes as Sites of Intimacy,” which will appear in the book Reimagining Historic House Museums: Catalysts for Change, edited by Kenneth C. Turino and Max Van Balgooy (Rowman & Littlefield). (My presentation at AASLH was based on research I’d done for this essay.)
  • I wrote an article for a special issue of the journal The Public Historian on LGBTQ Public History, providing an assessment of what’s been going on in LGBTQ interpretation since my book came out four years ago. “Ways of Interpreting Queer Pasts,” will appear in the Spring issue of this journal.
  • Finally, I contributed an article to the journal Change Over Time, called “Beyond the Bar: Property Types Related to LGBTQ History.” It examines types of properties where preservationists might find LGBTQ historical associations.

It was quite a year! Here’s to more fascinating work–and maybe a wee bit more down time–in 2019.