Carrie Barske Crawford and Brian Dempsey: “Hidden Spaces”
A collaboration between the University of North Alabama Public History Center, the Muscle Shoals National Heritage Area, and photographer Abraham Rowe, the photo-historical project Hidden Spaces identifies, displays, and interprets cultural landscapes, built environments, and natural features that highlight the inherent uniqueness and diversity of the greater Shoals region. This project uses oral histories, photography, archival documentation, and mapping to tell the story of important places not often associated with the weight of a site’s history.
Carrie Barske Crawford received her PhD in history from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, her MA in history/public history from Northeastern University, and her BA in history from Sewanee: The University of the South. As the director of the Muscle Shoals National Heritage Area, Crawford works on projects that aim to document the rich culture and history of northwest Alabama, as well as projects that protect natural resources and encourage the use of recreational facilities. In this role and as an affiliated faculty member in the UNA Department of History, Carrie also creates projects in partnership with community organizations that give UNA students professional experience in areas such as educational resource development, exhibit design, and historic preservation. She has authored numerous books and articles on the history of northwest Alabama. Brian Dempsey received his PhD in public history at Middle Tennessee State University and his MA in history at James Madison University. His dissertation considered the historical development and modern use of blues music tourism in Mississippi. Since then he has worked as a university professor, a professional practitioner in the Nashville music industry, and as a strategic leader on the Wilson, Arkansas, town revitalization project. Originally from the Mississippi Delta, his work focuses on the relationship between landscape and cultural identity, the connections between the arts and historical interpretation, and the process of helping communities tell their stories. An assistant professor of history at University of North Alabama since 2017, Dempsey also serves as director of the UNA Public History Center.
SouthTalks is a series of events (including lectures, performances, film screenings, and panel discussions) exploring the interdisciplinary nature of Southern Studies. This series takes place in the Tupelo Room of Barnard Observatory unless otherwise noted, and is free and open to the public.