🔗NPS Mellon Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow: Gender in Michigan’s Copper Country: Redefining the Keweenaw’s Industrial Frontier
American Conservation Experience
Each NPS Mellon Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow will complete work in four areas. Fellows will (1) perform project-based research; (2) share research results; (3) produce and substantially contribute to interpretive and educational products; and (4) pursue career-focused work.
1) Project-Based Research: During their first year, the Mellon Fellow placed at Keweenaw NHP will conduct research into the history of gender and sexuality in Michigan’s historic copper mining district as it grew from a frontier mining camp in the 1860s to a cosmopolitan and diverse copper producing district at the turn of the 20th century. To date, histories of the area have not explored concepts of masculinity, femininity, and gender as they relate to industrial history. Local archives and museum collections will be important sources of information; travel to regional repositories is likely. Part of this background research will include visits to the park’s formal partners to learn how they interpret gender and where it is reflected in their collections. This research will result in a written report, which will provide the background and context for completing the second-year activities.
Year two will involve updating and refining the park’s interpretive themes and proposing products for interpreting their findings. The Fellow will work with the park’s mentorship team to develop these products, which may include online content, exhibits, and educational plans. The Fellow will also speak to public history undergraduate and graduate students as part of the park’s Public History Internship program with the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Should the research warrant, the second year will also identify potential National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) nominations and updates to existing NRHP documentation.
2) Sharing Research Results: The Fellow will be expected to share their research findings with park and partner staff through formal presentation(s), followed by public offerings of the presentation content in a format to be determined with mentors and other park staff members. The Fellow will be encouraged to seek opportunities for publication of their research findings in professional journals and to develop interpretive media content based on their research for park creation and distribution. This might include social media posts, web-based content or print media as well as in-person sharing in the form of tours, lectures, or brief gallery talks. It is anticipated that the results of the second year’s research will be shared more formally through future exhibition content and/or ancillary educational programs.
The Fellow will be expected to develop and sustain connections with program-provided mentors and host staff, associated NPS staff, members of their Fellowship cohort, and other Fellows across the tenure of the program. In addition to being provided mentorship and support themselves, the Fellow will have the opportunity to mentor others and to enrich staff knowledge by organizing events such as virtual speaker series and presentations. Twice a year, the Fellow will participate with their cohort and other Fellows in a virtual conference for NPS staff and partners to provide updates about their research. The Fellow will be responsible for tracking and reporting accomplishments and for supplying copies of interpretive, educational, and research products to their host and to the National Coordinator.
3) Interpretive and Educational Products: The Fellow will work with mentors and a park-based support team to identify interpretive and educational engagements with their research as public history, public archaeology, critical museology, or some combination of those practices. Examples of potential interpretation and educational outcomes of this Fellowship opportunity include advising and co-creating narrative and object-centered storylines for interpretive exhibits; co-developing multi-modal expressions of park themes and topics; engaging with park partners to develop site-specific visitor programming; and developing content for and facilitating public programs for learners of all ages. The Fellow will actively participate in shaping and ensuring park narratives are historically accurate, and intellectually and affectively engaging for a wide range of users, especially underserved and historically disadvantaged persons and cohorts.
4) Career-focused Research and Products: In consultation with their mentors, the Fellow will carry out a career-centered project. About 20 percent of the Fellowship will be dedicated to this scholarly work that advances the Fellow’s career path. The Fellow will be supported by a multidisciplinary team that draws on local, regional, and agency-wide expertise. In addition to NPS staff, the Fellow will have an external mentor whose work examines and explicates the themes and historic importance of the site, its social history, and its multicultural present.
Essential Responsibilities and Tasks:
- Work with mentors to identify and implement research practices that support public history and critical museology.
- Conduct original research into the intersections of gender and industrialization, immigration, and urbanization in a frontier mining district, and place this history in regional and national context.
- Produce a conceptual outline identifying potential material resources that support and illustrate analysis of the historical processes and intersections noted above for internal review and discussion.
- Co-lead a public engagement process with those research and programming processes, to enact public history, public archaeology, and critical museology.