During the Spring 2018 semester, several students at the College of Charleston’s Historic Preservation and Community Planning program participated in their Senior Seminar titled “What Is Your Heritage and the State of Its Preservation?” This was the third time this seminar topic had been taught, with the first in 2014 and the second in 2016. For this class each student had to conduct a lengthy, in-depth research paper on the state of preservation of heritage sites, material objects, or traditions associated with their family’s history. The assignment used genealogical research methods in an unconventional way by elevating the assessment of ancestors beyond typical names, dates, and generational succession so commonly found on most family trees. The students had to ask profound questions to guide their inquiry, such as “Where (as in a specific spot) did my ancestors come from?”;“What was life like for them?”; and “What cultural traditions were important for them?”. In this way people, whether through a specific individual or a group, became connected and contextualized within time, place, and society. Moreover, the students had to utilize and synthesize the knowledge, skills, and experiences they acquired in other classes from past semesters. Essays contributed within this volume are by Rebecca Lawing, Flannery Wood, Ellen Feringa, Madison Alspector, Madison Moga, and Alec Meier.
Barry L. Stiefel, Ph.D. is an associate professor in the Historic Preservation and Community Planning Program at the College of Charleston, where he enjoys collaborating on projects with students.
Barry L. Stiefel
2018, 5½x8½, paper, 296 pp.