Project Team

Project Directors

2014Christmas-2_AnneByEvan_ResizedAnne Mitchell Whisnant is the instructor for History/American Studies 671. When teaching this course in 2015, she was  Deputy Secretary of the Faculty and Adjunct Associate Professor of History and American Studies at UNC-Chapel Hill. In 2016-17, she was Whichard Visiting Distinguished Professor in the Humanities at East Carolina University, in addition to her adjunct appointments at Chapel Hill.

Anne’s work focuses on public history, digital history, and the history of the U.S. National Parks. In 2006, UNC Press published her book, Super-Scenic Motorway: A Blue Ridge Parkway History.  Anne has also been the co-principal historian (with David Whisnant) on several other National Park Service (NPS) projects including studies for De Soto National Memorial (FL) and Cape Lookout National Seashore (NC). Most recently, she was the lead author on an award-winning NPS-commissioned study entitled Imperiled Promise: The State of History in the National Park Service (published by the Organization of American Historians and National Park Service in 2012).  From 2013-16, she served on the national Board of Directors for the National Council on Public History.

At UNC, Anne has been the scholarly adviser for Driving Through Time: The Digital Blue Ridge Parkway, a grant-funded online history collection developed collaboratively with the UNC Libraries. Students in her previous public history courses have developed interpretive content for that site as well as for two freestanding Blue Ridge Parkway history sites, The Unbuilt Blue Ridge Parkway (2013) and Parks to the Side (2014).

Anne is on Twitter @amwhisnant.

charlotteCharlotte Fryar was project manager for Names In Brick and Stone: Stories From the University’s Built Landscape and research assistant for History/American Studies 671, Fall 2015. In these roles, Charlotte assisted students in researching and writing their historical narratives, organized data collection, and built the digital visualization.

Charlotte is a doctoral student in the Department of American Studies and a Lab Associate in the Digital Innovation Lab (DIL). Charlotte finds her research interests in public higher education, digital archives, oral history, digital labor, university life, North Carolina history, and Southern sense of place. Since 2011, Charlotte has worked for the DIL, which strives to create digital humanities work as public goods. The idea that digital work can and should be public work has been instrumental to her work for Names In Brick and Stone, at the DIL, and her own scholarship. Charlotte’s long-term project is to document the University of North Carolina’s long and episodic history of the right to free speech through the twentieth century as a digital exhibit. She holds a B.A. in American Studies from UNC-Chapel Hill. Charlotte is on Twitter @charlottefryar.

History / American Studies 671 Students, Fall 2015

The original research and content development for this site was done by the eight students enrolled in the Fall 2015 version of History 671.  These students were a mix of advanced undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate students: one male, all white, hailing from various parts of the country.

We recognize that this work is somewhat limited by the perspectives of the people who contributed. Our demographic makeup is not representative of this University, nor of the voices of the many people of color who have sparked and led other parts of the campus conversation. This project should not therefore be seen either as the same as, nor as a replacement for, the voices of student and community activists. We hope that, instead, it may contribute to conversations and become a useful tool for all those interested in the current historically inflected debates happening on this campus.

10854308_10206283862924335_6010790109269464181_oShannon Brien is a senior undergraduate student majoring in Chinese and History with a minor in Women’s Studies. She is originally from Henniker, New Hampshire, but much prefers the weather in North Carolina. She has been active in Student Action with Workers for three years, and her interest in labor issues led her to research the Cheek Clark Building. She also works part-time in the Carolina Union and volunteers at the Orange County Rape Crisis Center. After graduation, Shannon hopes to attend law school to continue studying issues of labor rights and social justice.

Morgan Ellis graduated from UNC in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in American Studies and in journalism and mass communication, concentrating in public relations. From 2007 until 2015, he served as special projects editor at the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication—now the School of Media and Journalism. He currently works as part of the communications team at the UNC Office of University Development and primarily writes gift proposals. Born and raised in Morganton, N.C., he now calls Durham home.

myface2Kaitlin Henderson is a master’s student in Duke’s Graduate Liberal Studies department, where she’s creating a program of study on interdisciplinary public engagement. She’s interested in where and how explorations across academic fields intersect, and how those overlaps can be ripe for new ideas, questions, and public education. Her undergraduate background is in visual art and neuroscience & molecular biology (her personal academic favorites) but she’s interested in many disciplinary practices, including history, which is what initially brought her to this class. She’s also very interested in the potential of digital media for communication and education. Kaitlin researched the Morehead Planetarium and its namesake, John Motley Morehead III, to explore how a scientific building interacts with and embodies its histories.

intern headshotVictoria Hensley is a senior undergraduate student majoring in history and peace, war, and defense. She is from Caswell County, North Carolina, but now calls Chapel Hill home. She is an intern for Preservation Chapel Hill, which has only helped her grow in her passion for local history. After spending a semester conducting research on Chapel Hill’s historic districts for the Preservation Plaque Program, she grew interested in the names that dot the town and the campus. This is how she decided to research Spencer Residence Hall and Graham Memorial Hall. She has also conducted research on sexual assault cases in early New York County. Victoria hopes to attend graduate school for Historic Preservation next fall.

Rebecca HoffmanRebecca Hoffman is a junior undergraduate student majoring in political science and minoring in philosophy, politics and economics (PPE) and history.  She is from Levittown, New York, but has grown to love Chapel Hill as a second home.  After spending countless hours in Hamilton Hall during her first year, she wanted to research J.G. de Roulhac Hamilton and find out information about the man behind the name.  She also conducted research into Katherine Kennedy Carmichael, for whom Carmichael Residence Hall is named.  She is a co-chair of Embody Carolina, a Campus Y committee that aims to raise awareness through peer-led trainings and educational events.  She has interned for North Carolina Public Interest Research Group (NCPIRG) and worked as a program assistant at the UNC LGBTQ Center.

Rachel Kirby is a master’s student in the Folklore Program at UNC. She has a B.A. in Art History from UNC, and her capstone project examined modes of remembering and image1forgetting in a post-Civil War portrait of prominent North Carolinian Paul C. Cameron. Before returning to UNC, Rachel worked for the Preservation Society of Charleston, South Carolina where she researched the stories of the city’s historic houses. She is interested in material culture, architecture, and memory, and she enjoys using the objects and landscapes of the South to discover more diverse and holistic understandings of the region’s history and culture. For her thesis, Rachel is exploring the way Duke Homestead State Historic Site and Tobacco Museum constructs and performs the historical narratives associated with their interpretive space. This semester, she researched the evolving commemorative purposes of Memorial Hall. Her twitter is @kirbyrachel and her email is

Ellen Saunders Duncan is a senior majoring in American Studies, with a minor in Entrepreneurship.  Her academic interests include foodways, material culture, sense of place, memory, and the history of liberal religion in the South. Outside of school, she enjoys beekeeping, textiles, volunteering at the Recyclery, and her cats. Ellen is on the Board of Trustees for the Universalist Convention of North Carolina, a Co-Chair for the Unitarian Universalist Campus Fellowship at UNC, and a Co-Director of the Shelter Neck Youth Camp. She is looking forward to interning with the Southern Oral History Program in the spring, an appropriate relationship given her essay on the Love House.

History / American Studies 671 Students, Spring 2017

Students in the Spring 2017 version of this course added seventeen new building narratives to the original site.

18280188_1532744970082897_2126428252_nAllison Johnson is a junior undergraduate student majoring in public relations in the School of Media and Journalism. She is also a history major with a concentration in American studies. She is from Williamston, North Carolina, a small Eastern North Carolina town. As a Tar Heel born and bred, it has always been a dream of hers to call Chapel Hill home. During her sophomore year, she learned extensive knowledge about the Federal Theatre Project in an English course that focused on dramas. This experience led her to choose the Paul Green Theatre named after playwright Paul Green who had a major influence with the Federal Theatre Project. Allison will get her first hands-on public history experience, outside of this course, this summer as a communications intern for the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. She hopes after graduation to find a job within the public history spectrum that connects her love of history and public relations.

Anna BlackwellAnna Blackwell is a senior undergraduate majoring in History with a United States concentration and minoring in American Studies. She plans on attending UNC next year for graduate school to earn her Master’s in Teaching to aid her in her goal of teaching high school U.S. history. For nearly two years, Anna has been a volunteer at Duke Homestead State Historic Site and Tobacco Museum, which has helped her realize her appreciation for public history. Anna is interested in local and campus history; in the fall of 2016, she took her undergraduate research seminar for her major on the history of Civil War memorials on UNC’s campus. She and her team completed a project on the Wilson Caldwell memorial to help educate the student body on Caldwell’s life achievements and the context of his memorial.

IMG_5304Noah Janis is a senior undergraduate student majoring in history with a United States concentration. His focus is on early American history, particularly the revolutionary period, the antebellum era, and the Civil War. He is originally from Central Pennsylvania but now calls Brunswick County, North Carolina, home. He has served as a volunteer historic interpreter with Bennett Place State Historic Site in Durham for almost two years, and prior to that with Fort Fisher State Historic Site in Kure Beach for another two years. His experience with these sites led him to take this course and write his capstone undergraduate research paper on the early defense of North Carolina in the Civil War that was recently published in the Vanderbilt Historical Review. Upon graduation, Noah hopes to pursue his passion for public history by working with historic sites or museums.

Mattea V. Sanders  is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Am14322615_10210699268337159_4788573532932886396_nerican Studies. She received her bachelors from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and a masters in American History with a concentration in Public History from The American University. With a particular interest in cultural institutions in the federal government, Mattea has worked for the National Park Service, National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Archives and Records Administration, and the Smithsonian Institution.  Currently, Mattea sits on the Membership Committee for the National Council on Public History and is the Secretary for the Society for the History of the Federal Government. This summer Mattea will be interning with the NPS’ Heritage Documentation Programs working on the Historical American Engineering Survey.

CarolineCollinsCaroline Collins is a rising junior undergraduate student double majoring in Information Science and History, with a concentration in U.S. History. Her fascination with History began as a child, though recently she has developed a more particular interest in the field of Public History. While Caroline has a little less than two years before she can apply to graduate school, she wants to pursue a masters in both Library Science and Public History. Her dream is to work at a museum, a library, or a historic site, and she would love to be employed in Washington D.C. sometime in the future. She has volunteered with the Moore County Historical Association in the past and hopes to work with them again this upcoming summer.

History / American Studies 671, Fall 2017

Jenah McCall is a senior undergraduate student majoring in History with a United States concentration and minoring in Philosophy. She started college as a biology major and studied it for two years before making the switch to history. This unique combination of studies allowed her to realize her appreciation for the biological and historical aspects that make up every day life. This fascination with biology also led her to research Elisha Mitchell, a man who dedicated his life to the sciences, for this project. Upon graduation she hopes to get hired by the National Park Service so she can work to preserve nature and history.

Morgan Vickers is a senior undergraduate student double majoring in American Studies and Communication Studies, and a minor in Creative Nonfiction. She is an undergraduate research fellow in the Community Histories Workshop, and is currently working on her honors thesis on the subject of Eugene Daniel, a lynching victim from New Hope Township, North Carolina. In the summer of 2017, she received the prestigious SURF award for undergraduate research to pursue her honors thesis research on the town of Lockville, N.C. — a town inundated by the creation of Jordan Lake. Her interests lie primarily in popular culture studies, the emergence of African American culture following the Civil War, and the reconstruction (and deconstruction) of the lives of everyday people throughout history through the use of primary-source materials and digital archives.

KC Hysmith is a Ph.D. student in the department of American Studies. She holds a BA in Plan II Honors and French from the University of Texas and an MLA in Gastronomy from Boston University. Her PhD research focuses on historical foodways and its relation to our modern consumption patterns and attitudes towards food, gender, society, and digital media. Katherine has an academic and professional background in food writing, food photography, recipe testing, and research, focusing on topics such as urban farm-to-table, sustainability, and transnational foodways. In 2016-2017, she was a Weiss Urban Livability Fellow and helped create a digital foodways walking tour of the Chapel Hill/Carrboro/UNC community with a focus on diverse food landscapes and food access.

Kimberly Oliver is a junior undergraduate student double majoring in History and Anthropology and minoring in American Indian and Indigenous Studies. Originally from Greensboro, North Carolina, she grew up visiting endless museums and historic sites, developing a love of history that she now plans to turn into a career in public history. In the summer of 2017 Kimberly received the Buck Dunn Memorial Internship at Bentonville Battlefield State Historic Site, and currently works as a student assistant in the Southern Folklife Collection at UNC’s Wilson Library. In spring 2018 she will be interning with the Southern Oral History Program on their project about Native American activism on the UNC campus.

Wesley Thompson is a senior undergraduate student double majoring in Anthropology and History with a concentration in the United States. He is also minoring in the Study of Christian Culture. In addition to his research for this course, he worked with the Chancellor’s History Task Force’s Dr. Jim Leloudis and his fellow students within the HIST 398 seminar course to scour the University records and resources to begin uncovering UNC’s relation and involvement with slavery. He works as a student assistant in the North Carolina Collection Gallery within the Wilson Library and volunteers at The Museum of the Waxhaws and Andrew Jackson Historical Foundation. For both the NCC Gallery and Museum of the Waxhaws, he has spent hundreds of hours accessioning artifacts, giving tours, and contributing to exhibit construction and maintenance. Wesley also spent six weeks in Hillsborough, NC during the summer of 2016 participating in the ongoing excavation of the Wall Site, the former location of a pre-European exposure Native American occupation. In addition to his historical and anthropological experience in these places, he also has more than a decade of experience as a numismatist, or studier of coins, tokens, paper currency, and other related objects. After graduation, he plans to work at a state historic site before returning to graduate school before finding employment at a major museum or historic site.