New KHS Research Fellows to Tackle Topics in Today’s Headlines

New KHS Research Fellow Kristen Fleming is using maps to understand the Ohio River in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Summer not only brings the return of warm weather to the Bluegrass but the break between semesters is an exciting time for research at the Kentucky Historical Society (KHS).

KHS’s wide range of resources – from the early settlement and antebellum period to the 20th century – draws researchers from a wide-range of academic backgrounds and geographic locations, nationally and internationally. They come to search collections on the thoroughbred industry, the American Civil War, institutional drug treatment, and yes, even the Panama Canal.

Some of the scholars who visit do so with support from the Kentucky Historical Society Research Fellowship Program, designed to help support research in KHS collections by doctoral students, senior and emerging scholars.

As part of the program, KHS fellows have access to KHS archival and material collections, engage in thoughtful discussions on the scope of their work, and become connected to other area repositories, historic sites and organizations.

“The history of Kentucky is a dynamic blend of diverse local heritage, trailblazing individuals and pioneering innovations,” said Stephanie Lang, KHS Research Fellowship Program coordinator. “The history made in Kentucky’s local communities has placed the state at the forefront of national and international conversations for more than two centuries and continues to drive and influence present-day research.”

Kentucky’s stories not only highlight the state’s larger historical contributions and unique sense of community, they also play a role in confronting issues and challenges of today. The research areas of the latest group of KHS research fellows makes that evident.

The topics they will tackle – the environment, politics, gender, and drug addiction – continue to be part of national conversations.

The spring 2017 KHS Research Fellows, most of whom will visit in the coming months, are:

  • R.J. Knight, University of Reading (England), “Mistresses and Maternal Exploitation in the U.S. South”
  • Kristen Fleming, University of Cincinnati, “Ecological Transformations of a Well-Used River: Generating a New Ohio River in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries”
  • Alexis Smith, Indiana University, “Blurred Bondage: Native American and African American Slavery in the Ohio River Valley, 1600 – 1820”
  • Verlaine McDonald, Berea College, “Governor Martha Layne Collins of Kentucky: Gender, Leadership, and Intercultural Exchange”
  • Holly Karibo, Oklahoma State University, “A New Home on the Range: Drug Addiction, Treatment, and Punishment in the American West”

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