The annual poster session provides an important opportunity for graduate students to interact with practitioners, professors, and peers. This year, the 27 posters on display showed public history gradate students actively engaged in research that connects the study of history to contemporary issues and initiatives at the local, state, and even federal level.
This year, for the first time, we introduced a level of friendly competition into the event. We hope that the promise of broader recognition will entice more students to participate and attract more people to the session.
Eighty-Seven conference attendees cast votes for the three posters they believed had earned special recognition. While voting patterns indicated that all of the session presenters had made important contributions to the field of public history, three posters were clear favorites:
In third place, "Restoration Invasion: The Yankee Re-creation of the Southern Plantation" by Jennifer Betsworth, University of South Carolina, explored the ways in which wealthy northerners participated in shaping the popular memory of slavery by purchasing and restoring plantations.
In second place, "Localizing the Kids' Meal: Using History to Preserve Regional Food Culture" by Chanda M. Nunez, and Kristin Wanek, University of New Orleans, explored relationships among race, gender, region and food.
The winning poster, "Interpreting the Lives of People of Color at Arlington House" described work by American University's Alexandra Lane, Katrina Lashley, and Will Tchakirides to integrate the interpretive programming and popular memory at Arlington House.
Please congratulate these students if you run into them at the conference. We'd also like your feedback: What do you think about transforming the poster session into a competition?