Tuesday, March 15, 2011

George Mason University Offers History Course with a Graveyard Twist

George Mason University professor Dr. Mills Kelly offers a history course he calls “Dead in Virginia”.  During the course students are required to locate a local cemetery and research it, finding as much information as they can.  They also document the cemetery and put all their findings up on MyCemetery.org so they will be accessible to geneaologists and other researchers. 

The quote from the syllabus is amusing to me, given my background in archaeology:  “"This course is not your normal historical methods course. . . . In this class you will get your hands, your shoes and probably your pants dirty."   Nothing wrong with a little dirt!  Sounds like a fun course.  I took something similar as part of my undergraduate coursework, a mortuary anthropology course that involved a couple of research projects.  We had a relatively free choice of projects, I chose to undertake a project comparing markers in two local cemeteries.  Little did I realize that I’d end up continuing in cemetery studies!

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