June 5, 2023

Hanna’s Plantation Museum Research Featured in Northern Virginia Magazine

Professor of Geography Stephen Hanna

Professor of Geography Stephen Hanna

Professor of Geography Steve Hanna’s work to encourage Virginia presidential plantation museums to recognize and share the stories of enslaved people was featured in an article in Northern Virginia Magazine.

Do plantation museums do justice to the memory of the enslaved? Local professor Stephen Hanna wanted to find out, so in 2014 he joined a team of researchers associated with TourismRESET, a world-wide network of scholars who study and challenge social inequity in tourism.

Hanna, who teaches geography at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, received a grant from the National Science Foundation, enabling him to lead undergraduate students through multi-year research on how narratives and exhibits about enslaved populations and slavery were presented or absent at 15 different plantation sites. The goal was to present their findings to museum managers and thus facilitate more historically accurate and meaningful tours. His team is in the final stages of publishing a book summarizing their data and findings, to be released in March 2022. Read more.