Listen my children and you shall hear":
Balancing History and Myth in Massachusetts Public History
Elizabeth Bacon is Founding Director of Worcester's Blackstone Canal Horse and Wagon Tours, a youth leadership development project,and This is MYCity!, a civics education program. She holds a BA in Child Development from Connecticut College and a MA in Education from Lesley University.
Christine Baron is an Assistant Clinical Professor and Program Coordinator for History and Social Studies Education at Boston University's School of Education. Dr. Baron is working to establish the Center for History Education at Boston University, a program that uses historic sites as laboratories for teacher preparation. A former high school history teacher and museum educator, immediately prior to her academic post, Dr. Baron directed the development of educational and interpretation programs at the Old North Church, Boston. She received the National Council on Public History's Award for Excellence in Consulting and the American Association of State and Local History's Award of Merit for her work at the Old North Church. She received the National Council on the Social Studies Larry Metcalf Exemplary Dissertation Award for her research related to using historic sites to foster historical thinking.
J.L. Bell recently completed Gen. George Washington's Headquarters and Home, 1775-1776, a 600-page historic resource study of the commander-in-chief's work in the Cambridge mansion later known as Longfellow House. The National Park Service commissioned that study to aid the site's staff in interpreting that period for visitors. Bell maintains the Boston1775.net website, offering daily updates of history, analysis, and unabashed gossip about the start of the Revolution in New England. Among other topics, John has written articles on the experiences of children in the Revolutionary era, the Massachusetts Provincial Congress's secret artillery force, and the soldiers and town watchmen at the Boston Massacre.
Susan Bennett has been Executive Director of the Lexington Historical Society for nine years. Her background is in business, law, and archives administration. During her tenure, two of the three Lexington historic sites (the Hancock-Clarke House and Munroe Tavern) have been restored, and Buckman Tavern will be restored starting the summer of 2013. The Society has developed new interpretation and public tours for all three sites during the past five years.
Marty Blatt has served as Chief of Cultural Resources/Historian at Boston National Historical Park and Boston African American National Historic Site since 1996. He recently served as President of the National Council on Public History (NCPH) and has been elected to the boards of NCPH and the Organization of American Historians. He also was a member of the board of Mass Humanities. Blatt edited a special section on Boston's public history in the journal The Public Historian. His most recent publication, also in The Public Historian, is entitled "Holocaust Memory and Germany."
Allison Carter is an historian and Co-Curator of the Confronting Our Legacy exhibition at Historic Newton's Jackson Homestead Museum in Newton. Currently, Allison is Education Programs Manager for Historic Newton, and in that capacity she develops education programs, museum exhibitions, and much more. In the past she has worked in a variety of settings, from historic farms to national parks. Her skills as an educator, writer, and historian complement her unique ability to engage to the public.
Nancy Cole is the Education Director at the Martha's Vineyard Museum, providing programs and exhibits for children and families at the museum, and school programs for teachers and students, K-12. She was the project manager for Laura Jernegan: Girl on a Whaleship, MV Museum's award-winning web exhibit on the 19th century New England whaling industry. She is currently the project manager for It Happened Here: Our Towns in the American Revolution, a collaborative project with the Massachusetts Historical Society and Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association. She has a BA in Education from the University of Massachusetts and an MA in Library and Information Studies from the University of Rhode Island.
Cindy Dickinson has been the Director of Interpretation and Programming at the Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst since the museum was established in 2003. In that capacity, she has been involved with many interpretation projects, including creating guided tours, developing exhibits that engage visitors with Dickinson's poetry, and implementing a furnishings plan for the Museum's two historic houses, the Homestead and The Evergreens. Despite her last name, Cindy is not related to the poet.
Alison Falotico is the Manager of Interpretation and Public Programs for the Lexington Historical Society. She plans and manages the content and format of public tours at the Society's three historic house museums and is currently working on the re-interpretation of the Society's Buckman Tavern. Ms. Falotico also manages all guiding staff, educational programs, and field trips associated with these sites. Prior to working at the Lexington Historical Society, she worked as a guide for Historic New England. She has a BS in Art History and Communications from Syracuse University.
James Freeman is Professor of English at UMass-Amherst. He has published books analyzing Paradise Lost and European Ideas of War, John Milton's Latin Poetry, Clarence Hawkes, and The Angel of Hadley. Articles have examined the Late Latin Vigil of Venus, Donald Duck, Joan of Arc, the Chinese cemetery in Singapore, and burial sites in Dublin, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Florence, Rome, and Switzerland. He was a Visiting Scholar with The American Academy in Rome and the Branca Center for Italian Cultural Studies, Venice. He is a consulting Editor for The Journal of Radio and Audio Media and Editor of The Association for Gravestone Studies Quarterly. His next major work will consider how Golden Age American Radio shaped national ideas of citizenship, work, women, children, foreigners, space, and time.
Katherine Kane, Executive Director at the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center since 1998, implements the Center's mission using Stowe's life and work to inspire positive change with the Center's many programs and partnerships. The Stowe Center's historic collections and public and school programs include women's and African American history, and race, ethnic group, class and gender questions. Salons at Stowe is a regular series bringing the public into the parlor for conversation around contemporary issues. Ms. Kane was a senior manager at the Colorado Historical Society where she worked for 16 years. She has a B.A. in sociology from the University of Denver, an M.A. in anthropology from the University of Colorado and participated in the Getty Trust's Museum Management Institute.
Donghwa Kwak specializes in international communication and marketing. She joined The Boston Harbor Association as a communication and web development specialist last December. She helped TBHA launch their new Boston's Changing Waterfront application and now is part of TBHA's newly organized communication and marketing team. DongHwa is pursuing her BA in Business and Law at SookMyung Women's University in Seoul, Korea.
Tom Lincoln is the Executive Director at the Royall House and Slave Quarters, a National Historic Landmark museum (built 1732-1737) and educational resource in Medford that focuses on the stories and meanings of 18th century slavery in Massachusetts. Mr. Lincoln has a background in historic preservation, advocacy, writing, and community-building. Prior to his current position, he served on the Board of Directors of the Royall House and Slave Quarters. He manages the physical and programmatic aspects of this important historic site and works closely with the Board of Directors on interpretation, educational programs, and other aspects of the undertaking. He has participated in prior conferences here, and at Boston University, AASLH, and Historic Deerfield, among others.
Veronica Martzahl holds an MLIS with a concentration in Archives and a MA in History from Simmons College. She is currently the Records Archivist at Tufts University, Digital Collections and Archives where she accessions, arranges, describes, and preserves both digital and physical records. Ms. Martzahl is a member of the Digital Archives Specialist Education Committee at the Society of American Archivists, and she is the Deputy Coordinator of the Massachusetts State Historical Records Advisory Board.
Emily Murphy is the Historian and Acting Chief of Resource Stewardship for Salem Maritime National Historic Site. She holds a BA in Liberal Arts from St. John's College, Annapolis; an MA in American Studies from the Pennsylvania State University, and a Ph.D. in American Studies from Boston University. Her dissertation, “To Keep Our Trading for Our Livelihood:” The Derby Family and Their Rise to Power, examines how mercantile families used material culture, social connections, and political participation to exert control in 18th-century Salem, Massachusetts. During nearly 25 years of working in the public history field, she has used a variety of public records to examine the lives of people who have left few written records behind.
Richard Pickering is the Deputy Director for Museum Experience at Plimoth Plantation. In his 25 years with the Museum, Pickering has also served as a role player, Director of Education, and Director of Special Projects. He also worked at Mystic Seaport as liaison between the Education, Interpretation, and Exhibits Departments, and oversaw the development and delivery of teacher workshops. He studied English and American Studies at the College of William & Mary, and is currently a PhD candidate in English at the University of Connecticut Storrs.
Rob Pyles works at the intersection of storytelling, history, and technology. He is the co-founder of TourSphere, a mobile storytelling platform for museums and historic sites. He also founded Audissey Media, an award-winning audio and video production agency. He believes mobile technology signals an awesome new opportunity for museums and cultural organizations to share their stories with a global audience. He is a magna cum laude graduate of Pepperdine University, and has received numerous awards in the museum and interpretation industry.
Ray Raphael during the past decade has emerged as one of the leading writers on the birth of the United States, whose work is of profound importance to public history in Massachusetts. In 2002 The First American Revolution: Before Lexington and Concord led to a marked rethinking about the Revolution's beginnings. 2004's Founding Myths: Stories that Hide Our Patriotic Past established new standards for future renderings of our nation's birth. His new Constitutional Myths: What We Get Wrong and How to Get It Right was released in March 2013. Currently, Raphael is working on a revised and expanded edition of Founding Myths, in which he addresses the question why myths persist.
Nathaniel Sheidley is the senior Historian and Director of Public History at the Bostonian Society. Originally from Connecticut, he attended Stanford University as an undergraduate and received his MA and PhD degrees from Princeton University. Prior to joining the Bostonian Society, Dr. Sheidley spent ten years on the faculty at Wellesley College, where he taught early American history. Dr. Sheidley has written, taught, and spoken about a wide range of subjects, including Native American history, gender history, and the history of the American Revolution. He is currently researching early Boston's built environment and is finishing a plate on the American Revolution in Boston for The Atlas of Boston History (forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press).
Rainey Tisdale is an independent curator, based in Boston, who specializes in urban and local history. She spent most of the last decade working for the Bostonian Society, Boston's city historical society. In 2010 she was a Fulbright Scholar in Helsinki, Finland, and in 2011 she was a fellow at Brown University's John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities. In addition to urban and local history, her professional interests include material culture, museum mapping projects, sensory history, small museum capacity building, and creativity in museums. She teaches Material Culture in the Museum Studies Graduate Program at Tufts University and blogs at CityStories. With Linda Norris she is writing a book about museums and creative practice, to be published by Left Coast Press later this year.
Melissa Westlake, Curator of Education at Historic Newton, develops programming for one of the few Underground Railroad sites in the state that is open to the public. She is Co-Curator of the Confronting Our Legacy exhibition at Historic Newton's Jackson Homestead and Museum. Before coming to Historic Newton, Melissa worked at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. She holds a MA in Museum Studies with a focus in American Studies from George Washington University.
Inex Wolins, Chief of Interpretation and Education at Boston National Historical Park, leads up to 56 rangers responsible for interpretation, education, programs, volunteer service, community engagement, web/social media development, museum stores, publications, exhibitions, partnerships, and visitor operations, including the Bunker Hill Monument, Lodge and Museum; the Charlestown Navy Yard; the USS Cassin Young; Dorchester Heights Monument and two major visitor centers. Wolins initiates and oversees project and program collaborations with Boston African American National Historic Site, the Black Heritage Trail®, and with staff at legislated partner sites: Faneuil Hall, Old South Meeting House, Old State House Museum/Bostonian Society, Paul Revere House, Old North Church, USS Constitution and the USS Constitution Museum. Their locations along Boston's Freedom Trail® attract more than five million annual visitors.
Nina Zannieri has been the Executive Director of the Paul Revere Memorial Association in Boston, MA since 1986. Previously, she was Curator at the Rhode Island Historical Society. Ms. Zannieri served as President of the New England Museum Association from 1998-2002. She served on the Board of the American Association of Museums from 1999-2002 and as Vice Chair from 2002-2003. Nina also served from 2003-2007 on the Governing Council of the American Association for State and Local History and is currently Chair of the Ethics and Professional Standards Committee. She writes and lectures frequently on a range of topics. Ms. Zannieri is also a frequent guest lecturer for the museum studies program at Tufts University and is a lecturer and sits on the Advisory Committee for the Museum Studies Program at the Harvard. She received her BA in history from Boston College and her MA in Anthropology/Museum Studies from Brown University.