A Roundtable Discussion with Early-Career Historians Working Through a Global Pandemic

Thursday | 10 June 2021 | 6:30 PM

The global pandemic has taken lives of millions and touched the lives, personally and professionally, of nearly everyone. In the northeast, Black and Brown residents disproportionally hold the essential jobs without adequate protections or pay while women, more than men, are expected to maintain home responsibilities in addition to their careers. Moreover, nations in the Global South do not have equal access to the vaccine now widely available throughout Europe, East Asia, and the United States. This historic moment lays bare the inequalities of our shared humanity. Yet, the cultural institutions that support these difficult conversations also face challenges. Graduate students in the humanities can neither reach archives nor trust funding lines will be extended; museums lost millions in revenue due to limited attendance, furloughing curators and docents; and state archives and historic sites persevered through political and budgetary uncertainty. Nevertheless, many organizations have quickly evolved, finding new ways — through storymaps, webinars, and virtual exhibits, among other media — to preserve and retell stories about life in a pandemic. Please join the PHA for a candid discussion with early-career professionals about their experience over the past year.

The panelists include:

Jacob R. Wolff (moderator) is web and social media editor for the Pennsylvania Historical Association. Wolff holds a master’s from the University of New Mexico where he studied the impacts of higher education on postindustrial urban development. 

Ty Stump is an archivist with the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. He trained in American history (MA) and library science (MLS) at the University of Maryland and worked previously at the Smithsonian Institution. Stump’s first article is published in the spring issue of Pennsylvania History.

Rachel Yerger is a museum curator for the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. She manages collections held at historic sites throughout the state. Yerger previously served with the National Park Service at Valley Forge and completed a master’s in History from Villanova University.

Ian Gavigan is a third-year PhD student in history at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. His research focuses on the politics of social movements, labor, and the state. As a 2018 scholar-in-residence with the Pennsylvania State Archives, Gavigan explored the “never-before-studied” collection of Reading’s weekly Labor Advocate.