Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Congratulations to Graduate Student Jillian Rael on her Public History Achievements

Graduate student Jillian Rael has been very busy pursuing two significant public history projects in the last year.

First, she successfully filed an application to have the Whitaker-Motlow House registered with the National Register of Historic Places. The Whitaker-Motlow House, located in Lincoln County, Tennessee, was constructed circa 1850 by its owner Newton Whitaker. The Whitaker family were among the earliest settlers of the area and helped to establish the once thriving community of Mulberry. The house is a intriguing piece of transitional architecture that mixes the Greek Revival and Italianate designs. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in November of 2011 under Criteria C, as its design gives tangible expression to the family's middle class status. Jillian's work on the Whitaker-Motlow House began in 2009 as a part of a Public History course at UAH taught by Dr. John Kvach, and she pursued her work further by making the house the subject of her Senior Thesis in Art History, which she completed at UAH in 2010.

Second, Jillian received a book contract to prepare a book entitled Around Lynchburg , a photographic history of Lynchburg and Moore County Tennessee. The book is being published as a part of Arcadia Publishing's "Images of America" series. The history of the area is told through about 200 images collected from the community and tells the town's story though a combination of primary source research and oral recollections. The book is set to be released in June 2012.

See here a 1905 photograph of the Whitaker-Motlow House and the cover of Jillian's forthcoming book.

We are very proud of Jillian's hard work -- she is a credit to our graduate program as well as to the communities she has studied in Tennessee!

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