Students in MUSE 101 recently opened a new temporary exhibit at Garland Library for Homecoming, 2018. The exhibit is titled Bird’s Eye View: Six Decades of Aerial Photographs. The exhibit documents changes to Tusculum’s campus and the surrounding countryside. Students researched additions to and subtractions from campus throughout the period covered in the collection. Then students researched historic photographs to determine a chronological sequence before digitizing, printing, and mounting the images. Congratulations students on a job well done.
Travis Williams, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, has received notification that his latest book, History and Memory in the Dead Sea Scrolls: Remembering the Teacher of Righteousness, will be published by Cambridge University Press. It is scheduled to be released in the summer of 2019. Within Dead Sea Scrolls scholarship, significant questions surround the nature and reliability of the ancient source materials. For this reason, scepticism has begun to mount over the value of traditional historical methods for understanding the Teacher of Righteousness and the circumstances of his early community. Williams’ book is designed to address this situation and to offer an important corrective to popular conceptions of history and memory. It does so by introducing memory theory as a means of informing historical investigation. This approach charts a new methodological course in Dead Sea Scrolls research. It seeks to provide a plausible historical representation of the past which explains how the mnemonic evidence found in the relevant sources could have developed from a historical progression that began with the Teacher. In this way, it represents the first attempt in Dead Sea Scrolls scholarship to integrate history and memory in a comprehensive way. Congratulations to Dr. Williams on his latest scholarly success.
History Major, Laura Carr, received a first-place award for her research at the recent Appalachian Student Research Forum. Carr, who is part of the prestigious McNair Scholars program, presented a poster entitled Cleopatra: Perceptions and Reality in the Undergraduate Humanities and Education category. Carr’s research explores the perceptions of Cleopatra in the ancient world and compares that with the reality of this historical figure and the mechanisms that she used to maintain power and influence in a male-dominated society. She is currently developing the project into her Senior Thesis, and plans to attend graduate school in History after graduation.
Despite uncooperative weather, History and Museum Studies students welcomed in the new academic year at their annual fall picnic. The gathering brought together upperclassmen who are starting to focus on independent research and internships and new students just beginning their studies. The department also welcomed multiple transfer students joining the program from Walters State Community College. Supplies and food for the picnic were purchased with funds raised by the students last year at their annual used book sale during the Old Oak Festival. Thank you SMASH officers for organizing the event.
With the addition of an additional faculty member, Dr. Travis Williams, our department has become The Department of History, Museum Studies, and Religion. Dr. Williams is an associate professor of Religion at Tusculum, and has been at Tusculum for the past seven years, must recently in the Department of Civic Studies. Over that time, he has taught a variety of courses within the Religious Studies curriculum, but the two that he enjoys the most are RELG 101 (Introduction to the Old Testament) and RELG 102 (Introduction to the New Testament), which he has the opportunity to teach quite frequently. Outside the classroom, much of his time is spent on research. During his tenure at Tusculum, he has published a number of articles and essays as well as three large monographs. His current research is focused primarily on two areas: the New Testament letter of 1 Peter and the Dead Sea Scrolls. Please welcome Dr. Williams to the department.
For their annual trip students of from the History and Museum Studies Department spent their 2018 spring break in Charleston, South Carolina. Largely funded through their student organization (SMASH), they spent three days taking in much of what the historic city has to offer, including the Charleston Museum, Fort Moultrie, the Old Slave Mart Museum, Patriot’s Park, the Charleston City Market and a walking tour of the city. In between some self-guided walks and visits to local bookshops, students enjoyed excellent barbecue.
By Jeffrey Perry, PhD
History and museum studies students held their annual book sale during Tusculum’s Old Oak Festival. With the books, DVDs, and even a few VHS, donated by faculty and staff, the sale raised over $200 which will help fund future student events—including pizza/movie nights and trips to historical sites.
Thank you to those who donated, and those who purchased!
Students from Tusculum College’s Department of History and Museum Studies spent Saturday, September 23rd volunteering at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Bristol. Alex Rolison, Hannah Arnett, Alex Stoner, McKenna Keltner, Landon King, and Ethan Walling assisted the Museum’s regular staff—including Tusculum alum, Erika Barker—during the Smithsonian Magazine’s annual Museum Day Live. Across the country, Smithsonian affiliated institutions waived admission fees and welcomed curious visitors.
SMASH students performed various tasks. Some worked in the Learning Center, assisting young visitors with problem-solving games. Others greeted or registered visitors, pointing them toward the exhibits and live music. The group concluded the day with pizza and joined the Museum’s Director and Head Curator, Dr. Jessica Turner in a roundtable discussion about public history, museum studies, and professional development.
Students in the Introduction to Museums course visited several historic sites and museums this fall including:
- The Doak House Museum
- Andrew Johnson National Historic Site
- David Crockett Birthplace State Park
- The Jonesborough Heritage Alliance
- The MUSE Knoxville.
Students interviewed staff at each museum to learn about careers in the field and the important work these organizations are doing in the community.
Students of Museums and Students of History (SMASH) recently welcomed new students to Tusculum at the annual Taste of Tusculum event. As usual, History and Museum Studies put together a beautiful table display and enticed new students to join the club with an assortment of delicacies.
SMASH is the department’s student organization. The organization’s executive council, including Alex Rolison, Hannah Arnett, and Kristin Wiggins are already hard at work planning a series of excellent events and trips for the upcoming school year. Thank you for your hard work!