Thursday, February 7, 2013

Spring Semester Round-up

Alright. We're now three weeks into the spring semester and I think it's time for a short post about what I'm up. This fall was rough - so rough I ended up taking two incompletes.
All the books I used during the Fall 2012 semester.
However, this semester I'm only taking  two classes. For my last traditional history course I'm spending one night a week in a basement learning about the Holocaust. I chose this class because the Holocaust remains a hot topic for public history across the country, interpreted by a wide variety of institutions, organizations, and individuals. The other course is already one of the best I have taken at NMSU -  Museum Conservation Techniques I. We have lecture on Tuesdays and then lab on Thursdays, where we get to practice what we've learned. The final product for the semester is an actual conservation report about the pot on which we have tested the interactions of a variety of resins, paints, and solvents.
My terracotta pot, currently with 3 different paints and 5 different resins.
I am also taking the first three credits for my thesis, which I plan to finish during the Fall 2013 semester, wherever I may be. Inspired by my work in the Falkland Islands, I am examining the effects of place on the formation of Kelper identity. Of course, this all depends on finding enough sources to produce something of sufficient length. Fortunately, I have a back-up thesis. I'm currently working on an article about Josephine Foster, but I think there is more than enough information for a longer work if necessary.

My time in the Falklands has now popped up around the NMSU website:
  • The Center for Latin American & Border Studies mentioned me in the Summer 2012 edition of the Nason House News.

  •  There's now a picture of me with the Super Puma helicopter on the main page for the History department's graduate program.

  • And the Public History program's site also features a blurb about me. It's pretty neat that I get to represent the department this much.
As usual, I'm also engaged in a number of other projects. Next week I lecture to a class on Central America about piracy in the Caribbean. Can you believe I was actually assigned that topic? This will probably be my last lecture at NMSU, so I'm hoping it goes well. I'm also working on content about Las Cruces for Next Exit History, in anticipation of a workshop coming up later this month. I've also got some conferences coming up. We are hosting the local Phi Alpha Theta conference in March. I'm not sure I'm going to present this year, but I'm definitely planning to attend. April, however, is going to be insane. I'm giving a talk about the Falkland Islands that first Tuesday, and then there are two conference that third week. First, NMSU is hosting the 2013 Bridging Ages Conference, which deals with "Historic Environment Education and Living History." I'm participating on a panel concerned with costuming for living history, focusing on how people can assemble period-like clothing without spending a fortune. Second, the National Council on Public History is holding their conference in Ottawa that week. It's much too late for me to present anything, but I'd like to go just to see what the rest of my field is up to.

Oh, remember what I said about experiential history? Lauren over at American Duchess is currently doing some herself, experimenting with the effects of daily corset wear. She's made some fantastic observations during the first couple of weeks - well worth checking it out. 

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