Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Outreach follows Fieldwork

Once the fieldwork is done, drawing, photo editing, and writing ensue. Often furiously, to make a deadline (hopefully). Then I spend time distributing the products around the state and region, in hardcopy and electonically. Then, I find, after awhile, opportunities arise to share the new knowledge gained in a more personal way. Slowly, as people read my products, they learn and show appreciation. I get phone calls from descendents of Reuben Cuff, and Marshalltown folks or from ghost hunters wanting access to a (hopefully) haunted building. I get invited to speak, to share the findings "live." Or I propose a conference paper. It's important to get the findings out there, to share the knowledge learned.

This year alone, I will have given three paper presentations. The first was on Marshalltown at the VAF conference in May. The editors of VAF's journal, Buildings & Landscapes, want an article from me based upon this paper. The Marshalltown research began with a survey grant in 2009, followed by a grant to support the National Register listing in 2011, both from the NJ Historical Commission.

I had given a version of this at the 2012 NJ Historic Preservation Conference:

This month, I was honored to be the 11th John Rock Lecturer for the Salem County Historical Society in Salem. I talked on Reuben Cuff, whose house was the subject of  my first NJ Historical Commission grant in 2008. 

It was an expanded, updated version of a presentation I gave at the 2012 New Jersey Forum.

Next month I will again share the story of Marshalltown to the Council of Northeast Historical Archaeology at their annual conference in Long Branch, NJ.

That one will culminate in a chapter in a proposed book called Seated at the Same Table: Archaeologies of African American Life in the Upper Mid-Atlantic, edited by Michael J. Gall and Dr. Richard F. Veit, and published by the University of Alabama Press.

Slowly, the doors open.

My farmstead study of 2013-2014 will be the next outreach effort. In the meantime, I'll figure out my next fieldwork project...

Postscript: Speaking of fieldwork, I neglected to mention another presentation I gave in June. With my associate Maria Cerda-Moreno, I gave a workship on recording buildings at the New Jersey Historic Preservation Conference. We are hoping to do more of this!

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