U.S. History: Public history; digital history; US cultural (19th & 20th C); museums, material culture and memory; popular collecting practices and hobbies
Brennan is the Associate Director of Public Projects division and Research Assistant Professor in the Department of History and Art History. She completed her Ph.D. in U.S. history at Mason in 2009. Her dissertation, Stamping American Memory, investigates how the post office shaped American cultural memory in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century through its commemorative stamp program. She earned her BA from Bates College and MA from the University of Notre Dame in American Studies. Prior to coming to CHNM in 2005, she worked as the Director of Education and Public Programs at the U.S. Navy Museum in Washington, DC for seven years and was a research assistant at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History.
At CHNM, she works with partners from libraries, archives, and museums on collecting and exhibiting projects. She has managed many digital projects, and currently is the end user coordinator for Omeka, an open-source software project designed for cultural heritage institutions. She gives workshops on using Omeka and other digital tools, and presents papers on digital history and on the cultural history of stamps and stamp collecting. She blogs at: Lot 49.
“Intentional Alts,” conversation with Jeremy Boggs in #alt-academy: Alternative Academic Careers for Humanities Scholars, Bethany Nowviskie, editor (MediaCommons, 2011), http://mediacommons.futureofthebook.org/alt-ac/
“Oral History in the Digital Age,” Oxford Handbook of Oral History, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010), with James Halabuk, Sharon Leon, Tom Scheinfeldt, and Kelly Schrum.
“‘Little Colored Bits of Paper’ Collected in the Progressive Era,” Select Papers of the William M. Blount Symposia, (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 2010).
“Taking a Byte Out of the Archives: Making Technology Work for You,” Perspectives (January 2005) with Douglas Mudd, Kirklin Bateman, and Paula Petrik. http://www.historians.org/perspectives/issues/2005/0501/0501arc1.cfm
Encyclopedia of New England Culture (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005), 3 entries.
“The Vindex Special: Learning about Technology Through Advertising,” Magazine of History, (Winter 1998) with Susan Smulyan and Carlita Kosty.
“Constructing and Circulating Historical Narratives on Stamps,” conference paper, National Council on Public History Conference, Pensacola, FL, April 2011.
“Do you Know your Digital History?” invited presentation, University of West Virginia, November 2010.
“Remembering the Past, Shaping the Present with Commemoratives,” conference paper, 2010 Winton M. Blount Postal History Symposium, Washington, DC, September 2010.
“Hurricane Digital Memory Bank: Collecting and Sharing Stories from the Storms,” invited conference paper, Oral History Association Conference, Pittsburgh, PA, October 2008.
“Collection Access in a Time of Technical Innovation and Fiscal Constraints - Challenges, Conflicts, & Solutions,” invited conference panel, Naval History Workshop, Washington, DC, June 2007.