Posts Tagged ‘World War II’


Spotlight: Brent Taylor

In Spotlight on March 18, 2016 by Randolph Hollingsworth Tagged: , , , ,

Brent Taylor

Brent Taylor, WKCTC

Have you been wondering about this Brent E. Taylor, a history instructor at West Kentucky Community and Technical College, who is our current President-Elect?

Well, we got the scoop – straight from Brent himself. Check it out!

Current Position: History Instructor at West Kentucky Community & Technical College

Alma Mater: Murray State University

Fields of interest: Kentucky History, 20th-Century American History, Presidential History

When did you first develop an interest in history? I have always had an interest in it. I can remember my great grandmother showing me a picture, pointing to a photo and telling me that uncle so-and-so fought in the Civil War. I can also remember sitting at the foot of my grandmother’s bed listening to stories about the World War II Homefront.

How have your interests changed since graduate school? In graduate school, I never considered teaching Kentucky History. However, a frantic call from the Dean of Online Learning at WKCTC, changed all that when I was called upon to take over a class, mid-semester. It was a crash-course in the Commonwealth. Then later, I inherited a face-to-face course when a fellow professor retired. Standing in front of 30 students required a second crash course, and now Kentucky History is my pet project. Just yesterday I found myself reading about a court case called Louisville Railway Company v. Commonwealth. That would have never happened in grad school.

What projects are you working on currently? Right now I am building a collection of primary sources in Kentucky History for use in Kentucky classes (and also possibly American history classes). There’s everything in it from Daniel Boone to Freedmen’s Bureau ration documents, to a report by the Lexington Vice Commission.

Is there an article, book, movie, blog, etc., that you could recommend to fellow KATH members? The Kentucky Historical Society has a site about Civil War era governors that is nice to check for updates.

Other than history, what are you passionate about? I like songwriting and fantasy football.

Any final thoughts? Encourage your colleagues to join KATH. There is strength in numbers.



Spotlight: Kate Hesseldenz

In Spotlight on March 14, 2016 by Randolph Hollingsworth Tagged: , , , ,

Kate Hesseldenz 2016

Kate Hesseldenz

Next up in our series of Spotlight posts is the KATH Board representative for Public Historians: Kate Hesseldenz, Curator & Development Assistant at the Liberty Hall Historic Site in Frankfort. Here’s her answers to our questions:

Current school and alma mater/s: I am a public historian, a curator, at Liberty Hall Historic Site in Frankfort. I received my BA in Art History (1991) from Indiana University, Bloomington and my MA in Anthropology/Museum Studies (2001) from the University of Denver.

Fields of interest: Kentucky history and Early American history

When did you first develop an interest in history? In college, in my first semester at IU, I took an art appreciation class which I loved. This experience began my lifelong interest in both art and history.

How have your interests changed since graduate school? My degree is in Anthropology so I didn’t study history in grad school, but I began working at the Kentucky Historical Society after graduate school. I began learning Kentucky history then, although I grew up in Kentucky and had previously worked at the William S. Webb Museum of Anthropology at UK, so I already had a base knowledge of prehistoric and historic Kentucky.

What projects are you working on currently? In addition to a wonderful decorative arts collection at Liberty Hall, we also have a library and archives. In an effort to raise awareness and scholarship about the Brown family, who lived at Liberty Hall, we are currently (through a grant-funded project) working to catalog and digitize this collection. Very little scholarship has been done on John Brown, who was one of Kentucky’s first U.S. Senators. Brown also worked for many years for Kentucky statehood. Working behind-the-scenes in Washington prior to 1792, he helped to establish Kentucky as a state. By digitizing our archival collection and creating an online catalog, we are hoping to entice Kentucky history scholars to choose Brown as a research topic. We will begin making the collection accessible online in the summer of 2016.

Is there an article, book, movie, blog, etc., that you could recommend to fellow KATH members? I just read Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand. I thought it was such an amazing book. Having read Seabiscuit, I knew Hillenbrand was a good writer and with this book she did not disappoint. The story of Louis Zamperini’s survival amidst major adversity was truly riveting—a real page-turner!

Other than history, what are you passionate about? Art, reading, cooking, yoga, and enjoying time with friends and family.

Any final thoughts? With falling attendance at historic sites, there is much discussion amongst historic house professionals about how to stay relevant. Many of us don’t visit or support the local treasures in our own backyards. If you don’t already, please visit/support Kentucky’s historic house museums—many are doing interesting programs, re-inventing the tour experience, and creating new exhibits or interpretative spaces.

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