Songcatcher. Students in HIS 5350: Twentieth Century U.S. Cultural and Social History presented a public program on January 22, 2013 as part of the series, America’s Music: A Film History of our Popular Music from Blues to Bluegrass to Broadway, on display at EIU’s Booth Library, January 11-April 6, 2013. Music history requires interdisciplinary research that draws on history, anthropology, sociology and musicology. It all comes together during field work. This program explored the process that ethno-musicologists engaged in during the early twentieth century to document folk music, through the feature-length film, Songcatcher (2001). Students considered how musicologists established a research agenda and conducted their field work, how technological limitations and innovations affected it, and how insiders related to and interacted with outsiders in folk music collecting. Molly Brown, Logan Bruce, Felicia Comacho, Danielle DiGiacomo, Joshua Jordan, Daniel Lund, Anna Mullen, Clarissa Thompson, Daniel Tomar, Katherine Unruh, and Susan Voskuil participated, with Debra A. Reid, Professor.
Undergraduate students in EIU’s HIS 4930: Public History, Meaning & Method, researched, designed, and installed the exhibit “Building a Brotherhood: Freemasons in Central Illinois since World War II.” Students–Alyse Bennett, Nicholas Collins, Chase Driskell, Alexander Hamilton, Bailee Julick, Marisela Luna, Lashanna McGahee, Stephanie Templin, Emily Scarbrough; Mark Stanford, Amy Wywialowski–worked with Professors Debra A. Reid and Michael Shirley (Curator). It was on display in Booth Library, November 28, 2012 through January 18, 2013. Reid received an Integrative Learning Award from EIU for 2012 to offset exhibit expenses, and the Booth Library staff helped with production and installation.
EIU MA in History graduate students Philip Mohr and Patrick Vonesh have curated the America’s Music exhibit currently in Booth Library. (Philip is also a graduate of the MA in Historical Administration.) Library Dean Allen Lanham brought them on to curate the exhibit to go along with America’s Music, a film and lecture series funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The exhibit encourages the EIU community to explore different music styles as social, cultural, and historical phenomena.
Eastern Illinois History undergraduate Clare Smith’s abstract on “Seventeenth-Century Perceptions of the Henrician Reformation in Popular Culture,” was approved for presentation at the 27th National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) 2013 at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. The presenters were chosen from more than 3,500 submissions. Clare received an an undergraduate research grant from Eastern and is writing a department Honors thesis on the subject advised by Dr. Newton Key.