Conference Schedule 2011

38th Annual DC Historical Studies Conference

Thursday, November 3, 2011     

6:30-7:15 Conference Reception (Location: Goethe Institut)

7:15-8:30 Letitia Woods Brown Lecture    


Kenneth J. Winkle, Professor of History at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln

“Lincoln’s Citadel: The Civil War in Washington, DC”

Friday, November 4, 2011

(Friday and Saturday Sessions take place at Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, Sunday tour pickup will be at MLKML)






Plenary: Toward a Digital History of Civil War Washington

Kenneth J. Winkle, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Susan C. Lawrence, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Civil War Washington, a collaborative digital humanities research project, presents new ways to visualize and interpret the evolving role of Washington, DC, as the nation’s capital during the Civil War.  Primary emphasis centers on the city’s complex responses to the challenges of military fortification and mobilization, treatment of hundreds of thousands of wounded and sick soldiers, evolution of the expanding policy of emancipation as a war aim, and the emergence of a modern city and more functional and visually symbolic national capital.  The site explores these themes and presents evidence through an interconnected set of texts, databases, images, interactive maps, and analytical essays.
Civil War Washington draws on humanities scholars from several disciplines and emerging computer science technologies, such as geo-spatial mapping, data extraction, and adaptive interface design.  The varied disciplinary expertise of the faculty, staff, and consultants, including American history, history of medicine, American literature, library and archival sciences, geography, public health, surgery, and computer science, enrich the project. The searchable database encompasses census entries, diaries, notebooks, letters, speeches, reminiscences, photographs, drawings, newspapers, magazines, books, and other holographic visual and printed material. Transcending traditional print scholarship, the project presents our conclusions and provides users–scholars, teachers, students, and the general public–with direct and interactive access to our data, encouraging them to construct and test new arguments of their own.
Co-principal investigators are Susan C. Lawrence, Associate Professor of History and Director of the Humanities in Medicine Program, Kenneth M. Price, Hillegass University Professor of American Literature, and Kenneth J. Winkle, Sorensen Professor of American History, all at UNL.
Primary support for the project is through UNL’s Center for Digital Research in the Humanities (CDRH) and an NEH Collaborative Research Grant for 2010-13, which has received “We the People” designation.

11:00-12:30         Concurrent Sessions 1 and 2      

Session 1:  Built Environment of DC       

Adam Costanzo  “Creating a Grand Capital City One Building at a Time: Local Architecture and Development in Early Washington, DC, 1791-1814″

Chris Shaheen   “Public Parking: Transforming the Nation’s Capital from Gritty to Garden City”

Gail Spilsbury A Washington Sketchbook: Drawings by R. L. Dickinson, 1917-1918″


Session 2:  Researching Public School history    

Kimberly Springle  25th Anniversary of the Sumner Museum and Archives

Kesh Ladduwahetty and Lucinda Janke  Researching the history of the DC school system

Eaton School representatives     John Eaton School centennial

 12:30-2:00           History Network             

 1:30-3:00              Concurrent Sessions 3 and 4      

Session 3: African American Washington            

Emahunn Campbell  “’It All Comes From the Soul:’ The New School of Afro American Thought, Washington, D.C.,  and Black Arts”

Nicolas Martin-Breteau “Bodies of Character: Sport, education, and racial pride in the Long Civil Rights Movement, 1890s-1930s”

Timothy Dennee “A District of Columbia Freedmen’s Cemetery in Virginia?  Arlington’s Section 27”

Session 4: Civil War Defenses of Washington, D.C.         

Alexa Viets         “Long Term planning and vision for Civil War Defenses of Washington.”

Simone Monteleone      “Restoration of Fort Stevens”

Susan Horner     “National Register Documentation of Civil War Defenses of Washington”

James Rosenstock  ”Historic Preservation of Civil War Defenses of Washington.”

3:15-5:00              Concurrent Sessions 5 and 6                                      

 Session 5: Documenting the local Soviet Jewry movement         

Panelists will be Archivist Wendy Turman,

Assistant Archivist Claire Uziel, and

Interpretive Programs Manager David McKenzie, of the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington.


Session 6:  Current Archaeology of Washington, D.C.

[session will start at 3:05 to accommodate the number of speakers]

1. Noel D. Broadbent  Excavations in Bladensburg: the site of Joshua Barney’s Engagement with the British on August 24, 1814 Dept. of Anthropology, NMNH, Smithsonian Institution

2. Tom Forhan Cultural Landscapes and “Wilderness”: Historic Archaeology of the Riley Tract Rock Creek Park, Washington, D.C. Department of Anthropology, University of Maryland at College Park

3. Chardé Reid City Parks: Windows to the Past Assistant Archaeologist, DC Historic Preservation Office

4. Matthew David Cochran “Cathedrals of Lunacy”: Mental Illness, Moral Treatment, and the Materiality of St. Elizabeths Hospital

5. Paul P. Kreisa It Is A Noble Work: A Search for the Archaeological remains of the Moral Treatment Approach at St. Elizabeths Hospital. Greenhorne & O’Mara, Inc.

6. Tara Tetrault The Archaeological Collections of Washington, D.C. Montgomery College

7. Charles Cheek Worthy of the Nation: the Effects of Infrastructure on the Archaeology of Urban Life in Washington, D.C. John Milner Associates, Inc.

8. Alexandra Jones and Jennifer Babiarz Making a Difference: Community Archaeology and DC Youth

Saturday, November 5, 2011      

9:00-9:30              Registration                                      


 9:30-10:45          Plenary: Social History of Washington, DC          

Jessica Ziparo     “’There Are Some Sad Stories I Could Tell You About the               Woman-Clerk Life in Washington’”:  Female Federal Employees In D.C.  (1860-70)”

Mark Herlong    “The Golden Age of Washington Grave-Robbing”

Garrett Peck      “Prohibition in Washington, DC: How Dry We Weren’t”


11:00-12:30         Concurrent Sessions 7 and 8                                      

Session 7: Another Sesquicentennial — 150 Years of Policing Washington, D.C.


Lieutenant Nicholas T. Breul  “Some Highlights in the 150 Year History of the Metropolitan Police Department”

Martin Murray “The Poet and the Policeman:  Walt Whitman and Officer Doyle”

Sandra Schmidt  “On Being Black in an Overwhelmingly White Police Department”

William (“Bill”) Brown,    Moderator

Session 8: Contrabands in the DC Area 

Brandon Bies “Arlington’s Freedman’s Village.”

Kati Engel “Mapping Contraband Camps.”

Jonathan Pliska,  “Contrabands on Mason’s Island.”

Jenny Masur, Chair


1:30-3:00              Concurrent Sessions 9 and 10 and Tour 1             

Session 9:  DC Neighborhoods  

Adam Rubin       “Our Own Outrageous Ontario: The History and Precarious Future of Adams Morgan’s Ontario Theatre”

Marie Maxwell  “A Demographic Neighborhood From 1880-1930″

Karl Byrand   “The Spatial and Occupational Advantages of Shaw’s Mulatto Population in Turn-of-the-Century Washington, DC”

Session 10: DC History on the Web        

Matthew Gilmore “H-DC: DC history discussion list”

Karen Needles  “Lincolnarchives Digital Project”

John De Ferrari “Streets of Washington blog”

 Tour 1   Kim Roberts

“Henry Adams:  Washington Historian and Author, a Tour of Lafayette Square”

 3:15-5:00              Concurrent Sessions 11 and 12 and Tour 2           

Session 11: Neighborhood history          

Neighborhoods by Neighbors – Three DCCHP Communities: Capitol View, Eastland Gardens, and Fairlawn

For the past six years, the DC Community Heritage Project (DCCHP), a joint program of the DC Historic Preservation Office and the Humanities Council of Washington, DC, has added funding to the support it provides to residents of neighborhoods to document and tell the history of their communities. The results have been impressive. Not only have residents fallen in love with DC history, especially the way that their neighborhood and local heroes have contributed to the city, they have also become competent researchers and proficient in presenting a well-documented story. But most importantly, their work has imbued their neighbors with a sense of rediscovered pride and renewed commitment to civic advocacy.
This panel presents three little known Washington, DC neighborhoods and highlights of the rich, multi-layered stories uncovered by residents assisted by funding from the DCCHP.
The panel will be moderated by Patsy Fletcher of the DC Historic Preservation Office and co-founder of DCCHP.

Panel members are:

Patricia Hallman, member of the Capitol View Civic Association and chair of the History Committee;
Javier Barker, president of the Eastland Gardens Flower Club; and
Graylin Presbury, president of the Fairlawn Citizens Association.

Session 12: Political Collections                (Donna Wells Memorial Session)

Washington, D.C., Political Papers and Collections: Where the Researcher Finds Primary Sources on D.C.’s Political Past and Present

Moderator:        Yvonne Carignan, Head of Special Collections and Archives, Fenwick Library, George Mason University


Meredith Evans Raiford, Ph.D. Director of the Special Collections Research Center, Gelman Library, George Washington University Special Collections

“Not Just Minister: From the March on Washington  to Representing the Citizens of the District of Columbia in the United States House of Representatives”

Derek Gray  Archivist, Washingtoniana Division, DC Public Library

Ida E. Jones, Ph. D. , Assistant Curator, Moorland Spingarn Research Center, Howard University

“Whatever measure of success: Washington, D.C. political collections at Moorland Spingarn.”

 Tour 2   Parrett Peck       Tour of Prohibition Washington

 Sunday, November 6, 2011         

11:00-3:00           Tour of Civil War Fortifications  (limited registration!)

Tour Synopsis: Lincoln’s Line of Defense

Explore the Civil War forts erected by Lincoln’s army to protect the nation’s capital during the Civil War and the summer cottage where President Lincoln contemplated emancipation, war strategy and the fate of the Union.  Nestled among the hills of the city are the remains of a vast network of earthwork forts that proved impenetrable to Confederate forces during the Battle of Fort Stevens on July 11-12, 1864.  In addition to a stop at President Lincoln’s Cottage, this tour includes stops at Forts Reno, Marcy, DeRussy and the reconstructed Fort Stevens.  Also included is a stop at the recently renovated the Superintendent’s Lodge at Battleground National Cemetery, the resting place of 41 Union soldiers who fought in the Battle of Fort Stevens.  President Lincoln’s Cottage is a National Historic Landmark managed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The Civil War Defenses of Washington are part of a local network of National Parks.

Tour lasts approx. 3 1/2 hours.

1) Date: Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011
2) Cost: $30/person (cash or check)
3) Time: 11:00 AM-3:00 PM
4) Pickup Point: in front of MLK Library, 9th and G Sts., NW, D.C.
5) Max. 50 riders. Email: to reserve


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