University of Virginia • Public History Summer Research Fellow • June - August 2021
Anderson Moss is a third-year Religious Studies Ph.D. student at the University of Virginia’s Religious Studies Department in the Religion, Literature, and Culture track. Before his time at UVA, he received his MA in Religious Studies at the University of Georgia and his BA in History and Religious Studies at Young Harris College. His specialization is in African-American spiritualities expressed through poetry and fiction. His work lately focuses on authors such as Langston Hughes, Richard Wright, Paul Beatty, Percival Everett, and Sun Ra and their struggles to navigate the tension between race, racism, and religion. These authors are complex in the ways that they reject, rework, or re-evaluate their relationships with religion. Guiding Anderson's research approach is a commitment to searching for religion and spirituality in unexpected places. Many scholars turn towards churches and temples, while Anderson finds religious and historical significance in the stories that communities and individuals tell.
Anderson will use this drive to help provide further context and content to how the museum covers the often-excluded histories of African Americans in Danville, Virginia. He will be looking through local archives, reading academic and non-academic articles on Danville, reaching out to local churches, and talking to community members to further contextualize Danville’s Black history. He is particularly interested in searching for materials detailing African American life during reconstruction. He is also invested in looking for histories and stories of Black Danville beyond narratives of anti-Black racism and the struggle for rights.
James Madison University • Research Fellow for Omitted Histories Video Project • January 2021
Daniel is a recent graduate of James Madison University with a Bachelors degree in History. His main area of interest is the intellectual history of radical politics in the United States from the late nineteenth century until the end of World War Two. The politics of succession and white supremacy which permeate the air of both the past, and at times the present, are the very subject of Daniel’s studies, and he hopes to use this previous experience to further contextualize the many narratives that Danville has to tell. Daniel hopes to continue his education by pursuing a PhD this fall and use the experiences that he gains from his time at the museum to expand his horizons into public history as well.
Daniel is working as part of a team that is creating the Visitor Services video "Omitted History." He is focusing his research on the 1883 Danville Race Riots, which preceded Jim Crow legislature. He works with the content, photographs, descriptions, as well as any local historic narrative information, provided by the local historian Sonja Ingram and the National Historians Grace Hale and Fitz Brundage.
University of Virginia • Research Fellow for Omitted Histories Video Project • January-December 2020
Asher Caplan is a research fellow from the UVA Institute for Public History who has been engaged in historical research for the Omitted Histories Video Project, sponsored by Virginia Humanities, since June 2020. Asher is a current graduate student in Media, Culture, & Technology at the University of Virginia and also a Danville native. As a graduate researcher at UVA, Asher studies online misinformation and media literacy, and he has used this background to evaluate and analyze source materials for use in the Danville Museum’s new visitor introduction video and future exhibits. This summer, Asher worked with Nara Holdaway and Kate McDannold to collect hundreds of books, articles, photographs, and news reels on Danville through online archives. He digitized important museum and city records and also summarized these sources for future research projects. He is currently constructing topical bibliographies to streamline the public’s engagement with primary source materials on Danville. Finally, Asher has been collaborating with Josh Lucia to write scripts and select ideal content for the Omitted Histories video itself.
Asher is excited to contribute to the Omitted Histories project and to help reorient the museum’s content to include previously excluded perspectives. He hopes that his work will bring newfound interest in the museum and will encourage future exhibits to better reflect the diverse population of his hometown. His favorite aspect of the project, thus far, has been learning about the contested nature of Danville’s history. With each topic is a host of competing sources and testimonies that has made his summary work difficult and has led him down rabbit holes of forgotten information. To this end, Asher sees his work in sourcing and content organization as a potential to uncover new possibilities and to motivate the public to think critically about Danville’s history and its ramifications.
University of Virginia • University Fellow / Summer Research Intern for Omitted History Video Project • January-December 2020
Nara Holdaway is a fourth-year history and African American studies double major at the University of Virginia. They were raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, and have gone to UVA for four years, living on and off in Charlottesville and Northern Virginia. They were introduced to the DMFAH Omitted History video project, sponsored by Virginia Humanities, through the Public History Internship program at the University of Virginia run by Lisa Goff. Through this program, Nara was matched with the Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History, and subsequently began working with the team on the Omitted History video.
Nara worked to provide historical research for the Omitted History video, with a focus on finding primary sources when available. They worked to find these resources through multiple data bases available through the University of Virginia and worked to help explain said resources in a manner that was accessible to the general Danville public. They wanted to ensure that the information presented in the Omitted History Video Project was both accurate and digestible to everyone who visited the Danville Museum.
Growing up in the Southwest, Nara was not exposed to the complex relationship Virginia has to the Confederacy. This internship worked to enlighten Holdaway on many of the complex relationships Danville has with notions of race and identity. Danville holds a complicated relationship with its Black population, as many southern states do. There is a process of recovery desperately needed in Danville to rectify the trauma African Americans have suffered in this city, both from the damage caused by slavery, and the complex relationship the city officials have with these communities. It is a city entrenched in both racism and protests, hosting the leader of the Confederacy during its final days, as well as key figures of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 60s, such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. The city of Danville is a place with a complex, racially charged past, that holds potential to blossom into a diverse, co-operative city.
Emory University • Museum Studies Fellow 2020 - 2021
Annie graduated from Emory University in May of 2021 with her B.A. in Art History and a concentration in Museums.
During her internships with DMFAH in the summer of 2019, 2020, and fall 2020, Annie was active in preparing and installing String Theory Project: Rare and Unique Stringed Instruments, a temporary exhibition in Fall 2019, and The Movement: Danville’s Civil Rights, the Museum's long-term exhibition. She was central in the installation of the Museum's summer fiber-art exhibition along the Danville Riverwalk, Wanderlove: A Stitch in Time. Annie was invited to be the DMFAH's Collections Manager Fellow beginning in September of 2021, continuing to lead the collections inventory and organization. Most recently, Annie helped in the transportation and installation of the traveling Smithsonian exhibition Crossroads: Change in Rural America and curated Carson Davenport: Retrospective 2021, featuring 37 of the Danville native artist’s works from the Museum's collection.
University of North Carolina at Greensboro • Museum Studies Fellow 2019 - 2020
Kate McDannold worked with the Museum as a Graduate student in Museum Studies with a passion for developing unique learning experiences for all audiences. Kate curated and assembled the narrative for the Camilla Williams exhibition and timeline that was developed based on the book by Dr. Stephanie Shonekan and Camilla Williams, The Life of Camilla Williams as well as other resources.
In 2020, Kate received her MA in Museum Studies from UNC-Greensboro.