Traditional Associations?: Public History, Collaborative Practice, and Alternative Histories

Author(s): Erin K Devlin

Year: 2015


In recent years, public historians have placed increased emphasis on collaborative practice—the need to reach out to an expanded array of community stakeholders, the desire to share authority through co-creative planning processes, and the effort to create engaging experiences for visitors. These developments have been motivated, in part, by an effort to diversify the public history landscape and to incorporate non-white and non-elite histories into public memory.

This paper will explore the unique challenges presented by engaging in collaborative practice while investigating the history of Lewis Mountain, a segregated campground for African American visitors in Shenandoah National Park. The study of this site raised questions about progressive historical narratives, and narrow definitions of "traditionally associated peoples" with a recognized stake in the preservation cultural resources in SNP.  These questions—related to research ethics, community outreach, and cultural resource management—resonate for public historians as well as historical archaeologists.

Cite this Record

Traditional Associations?: Public History, Collaborative Practice, and Alternative Histories. Erin K Devlin. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Seattle, Washington. 2015 ( tDAR id: 433836)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 189