Tift Merritt, Distinguished UNC Alumna, joins CHW as performing artist in residence

Award-winning singer-songwriter Tift Merritt joins us this year as the CHW Performing Artist in Residence.  She will immerse herself in our work recovering the material history of Dix Hospital and the lives of some of the tens of thousands of North Carolinians who were treated there between 1856 and 2012.  Her goal is to write a song cycle reflecting the human experience of the site and eventually to perform it at Dix Park. Read more. On UNC's University Day (October 12, 2018), Tift was presented with a Distinguished Alumna Award.  In announcing the award, the selection committee noted: Tift Merritt is a Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter who began her career in local venues such as Cat’s Cradle and The Cave and soon began appearing on top-ten lists in The New Yorker and Time. Since starting a band while a creative writing student at Carolina, Merritt has released a unique, critically acclaimed body of work including seven albums of original material and three live records. Merritt has...
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Graduating CHW Fellow Morgan Vickers recognized (again!)

Graduating CHW Undergraduate Research Fellow Morgan Vickers was profiled in Endeavors, the research magazine published through the UNC Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research. At the Chancellor's Award Ceremony in April, Morgan received the Peter Baxter Award as outstanding graduating American Studies major, and the William S. Powell Award as the senior who has added most to our understanding of the first state university and its traditions. Morgan is one of fifteen college juniors and seniors in the country to receive this year's Gilder Lehrman History Scholar Award, recognizing excellence in American history or American Studies as well as their commitment to public service, leadership and community involvement.   She will spend six days in New York City in June, participating in meetings with fellow honorees and eminent scholars. On May 13th, she was graduated with Honors in American Studies and a double major in Communication Studies. Morgan was an inaugural undergraduate research fellow in the CHW in 2016, and has contributed enormously and continuously across...
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Teaching the Asylum: Health Humanities

Over spring semester 2018, the Community Histories Workshop partnered with Professor Jordynn Jack (Director of the English M.A. Program in Literature, Medicine, and Culture; and Director of the Health Humanities Lab at UNC Chapel Hill) to introduce students to the world of the nineteenth century insane asylum through the lives of individual patients. Students in Professor Jack’s Research Seminar in Aging and Mental Health were the first anywhere to work with admissions ledgers from the North Carolina Insane Asylum (later Dorothea Dix Hospital).   CHW undergraduate research fellow (and soon to become the inaugural CHW post-graduate research fellow) Dani Callahan and graduate research fellow  Sarah Almond (pictured above) provided Prof. Jack with admissions ledgers covering the period 1860 to 1870. In February, Dani and Sarah met with the class to demonstrate the transcription project the CHW is involved with, which will lead to the creation of the first patient database for a nineteenth century American asylum—more than 7000 records from 1856 to 1917. ...
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Supporting our colleagues at the NC Digital Heritage Center

From our first digitization efforts in Gastonia around the Digital Loray project in 2013 through our current work in the CHW, the NC Digital Heritage Center has been our steadfast and invaluable partner in collecting, digitizing, curating, and sharing community history.  They are  finalists for a much-deserved national award given by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. ...
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CHW Statement of Principles

Established in 2016, the Community Histories Workshop (CHW) works with local communities to recover, preserve, and share the memories, stories, and materials that reflect the multi-layered histories of place.  By helping to connect past to present we believe that communities can envision more just, inclusive, and democratic futures. We are pleased to share the Community Histories Workshop Statement of Principles, endorsed by the CHW team in January 2018. As the CHW began its second year in the fall of 2017 with an expanded team and new opportunities, we embarked on a semester-long strategic planning initiative.  It  involved creation of a more transparent and efficient organizational structure, consultations with key university and area leaders, and the forging of a statement of principles to guide our practice and announce to current and prospective partners who we are, what we do, how we work, what values inform our work, and why our work is important both to the university and to the communities in which...
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CHW Staff Opportunity

The CHW is pleased to announce that we will be adding a one-year, full-time staff position to coordinate the next phase of our work in Rocky Mount. The full position description has been posted on the "Careers at Carolina" website: https://unc.peopleadmin.com/postings/124984 Applications and supporting materials are accepted only through this portal. The UNC-Chapel Hill Community Histories Workshop (communityhistories.org ) announces a one-year position in public history and public humanities to lead Rocky Mount Mills: From Adaptive Reuse to Public Engagement, a community history and archiving project funded through a grant from the National Historic Publications and Records Commission of the National Archives and Records Administration. Responsibilities of the Social Research Specialist/Project Coordinator include but are not necessarily limited to: *support project Principal Investigator, Professor Robert Allen *serve as project manager and team leader for the project, coordinating effort by all participants and contributing units *coordinate project administration with the staff of the UNC Center for Urban and Regional Studies *coordinate the work of the project’s graduate fellow *working with...
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