July 3, 2022

Hanna’s Research Shared By History News Network

Professor of Geography Stephen Hanna

Professor of Geography Stephen Hanna

Professor of Geography Stephen Hanna was featured in “Why the Voices of the Enslaved’s Descendants Matter at Montpelier and Other Historic Sites” on History News Network. On May 17, after weeks of negative stories on Montpelier in the national press, the foundation that operates the Virginia plantation home of James Madison finally made good on its promise to share authority with descendants of people enslaved by the man known as “the father” of the U.S. Constitution. Read more.

Hanna Talks to Media About Montpelier

Professor of Geography Stephen Hanna

Professor of Geography Stephen Hanna

Professor of Geography Stephen P. Hanna was quoted in several high-profile media outlets about his research on Southern plantations. On May 17, 2022, after weeks of negative stories on Montpelier in the national press, the foundation that operates the Virginia plantation home of James Madison finally made good on its promise to share authority with descendants of people enslaved by the man known as “the father” of the U.S. Constitution. The article, “Modern-day struggle at James Madison’s plantation Montpelier to include the descendants’ voices of the enslaved,” was published by the following sources:

Modern-day struggle at James Madison’s plantation Montpelier to include the descendants’ voices of the enslaved (The Conversation; Virginia Mercury; Chronicle Tribune)

Hanna Pens Column on Montpelier in Washington Post

Professor of Geography Stephen Hanna

Professor of Geography Stephen Hanna

Professor of Geography Stephen P. Hanna, Derek H. Alderman and Amy E. Potter, co-authors of “Remembering Enslavement: Reassembling the Southern Plantation Museum,” penned an op-ed in The Washington Post entitled, Changes at Montpeiler Work Against Repairing the Wounds of Slavery.

As scholars who have conducted research at Montpelier, we are saddened and angered by the Montpelier Foundation’s withdrawal from its power-sharing agreement with the Montpelier Descendants Committee as well as by the firing of dedicated and talented staff who worked diligently to tell a more inclusive account of American history. Read more.

Opinion-Changes at Montpelier work against repairing the wounds of slavery (The Washington Post)

Steve Hanna: Map Man

At the University of Mary Washington, geography majors don’t just learn in the classroom. They actually DO geography.

Professor of Geography Steve Hanna, seen here during a 2018 interview for ‘With Good Reason’ radio, is the co-author of a new book, 'Remembering Enslavement: Reassembling the Southern Plantation Museum,' released by University of Georgia Press earlier this week. Photo by Karen Pearlman.

Professor of Geography Steve Hanna, seen here during a 2018 interview for ‘With Good Reason’ radio, is the co-author of a new book, ‘Remembering Enslavement: Reassembling the Southern Plantation Museum,’ released by University of Georgia Press earlier this week. Photo by Karen Pearlman.

It’s a pride point for Professor Steve Hanna, who began teaching at Mary Washington a quarter century ago, drawn here because of his strong belief in the value of a public liberal arts education, with lots of hands-on learning opportunities.

“Our classes get students out into the world – both virtually and physically – where they explore cultural landscapes and collect data about the natural environment and the people who live there,” said Hanna, who earned his own degrees from Massachusetts’ Clark University and the universities of Vermont and Kentucky.

Almost a decade ago, Hanna and faculty collaborators from across the country received a three-year National Science Foundation grant to study – and hopefully change – how Southern plantations tell the story of enslaved people. Together, they’ve published a new book, Remembering Enslavement: Reassembling the Southern Plantation Museum, released by University of Georgia Press earlier this week.

Hanna's new book, co-authored with colleagues across the country, based on years of research he conducted with faculty collaborators and his students.

Hanna’s new book, co-authored with colleagues across the country, based on years of research he conducted with faculty collaborators and his students.

The group’s sole cartographer, Hanna and his colleagues did narrative mapping at 15 antebellum museums in Louisiana, South Carolina and Virginia. Eight of his students – now UMW alums – were there every step of the way, capturing and interpreting tours, and surveying visitors at each site.

“As a country, we unfortunately have a racial history that has excluded major parts of the narrative at these museums and other commemorative sites,” said Hanna, who was awarded UMW’s Waple Professorship in 2016 for his work. “Mapping suggests new ways these stories can be told,” he added.

Their findings were featured in a Journal of Heritage Tourism article, which won Hanna and his collaborators the prestigious Zumkehr Prize for Scholarship in Public Memory.

The research also attracted the attention of staff at Montpelier, home to James Madison. Before COVID hit, Hanna and another set of UMW students studied the Virginia presidential plantation and three others: Mount Vernon, Monticello and Highland. They shared their results and recommendations on how each site could better incorporate stories about slavery into their exhibits and tours.

“We found that visitors not only said they learned more about enslaved people when they were included in the narrative,” Hanna said, “but that they also felt more empathy toward them.”

Q: What do you tell students who are considering majoring in geography at UMW?
A: You’ll develop marketable skills in mapping, geospatial analysis, remote sensing, and qualitative and quantitative research. Our alums have excelled in careers in planning, geographic information systems, teaching and more. Many also earn our Master of Science in Geospatial Analysis degree – and we’re adding an undergraduate major in that area next year.

Q: What’s your favorite thing in your office?
A: A photo of me with three of my research students.

Q: What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
A: Sailing, walking around downtown Fredericksburg and dining at local restaurants.

Q: What would people be surprised to learn about you?
A: I’m a member of the handbell choir at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Fredericksburg.

Q: What do you like best about the UMW campus?
A: The fountain in front of Monroe Hall, which is labeled “The Fountain of Greatness” on Google Maps.

Farnsworth, Hanna and Seltzer Publish Book Chapter on Virginia Politics

Vibrant Virginia: Engaging the Commonwealth to Expand Economic VitalityProfessor of Political Science Stephen Farnsworth, who is director of the University’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies; Professor of Geography Stephen P. Hanna; and Kate Seltzer, a 2021 graduate of UMW with degrees in political science and in communication and digital studies, are coauthors of a book chapter entitled, “Declining Rural Influence in Virginia Politics: Comparing Mark Warner’s 2001 and 2020 Elections,” which was published in the new book, Vibrant Virginia: Engaging the Commonwealth to Expand Economic Vitality, just published by Virginia Tech. Further information on the book is available here: https://www.amazon.com/Vibrant-Virginia-Engaging-Commonwealth-Economic/dp/1949373851/ref=zg_bsnr_11284_12/142-4848735-5157510?pd_rd_i=1949373851&psc=1

 

Farnsworth, Hanna and Seltzer Present Research Paper on Virginia Politics

Professor of Political Science Stephen Farnsworth

Professor of Political Science Stephen Farnsworth

Professor of Geography Stephen Hanna

Professor of Geography Stephen Hanna

Stephen Farnsworth, professor of Political Science and director of the University’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies, Stephen P. Hanna, professor of Geography, and Kate Seltzer, a 2021 graduate of UMW with degrees in Political Science and in Communication and Digital Studies, are coauthors of a research paper entitled, “Declining Rural Influence in Virginia Politics: Comparing Mark Warner’s 2001 and 2020 Elections,” which was presented recently at the Northeastern Political Science Association [online].

Farnsworth and Hanna also penned an editorial with UMW political science major Cassandra Atkinson for The Free Lance-Star: Youngkin proves the political virtues of vanilla.

Dr. Farnsworth also commented on the following news stories:

How critical race theory went from conservative battle cry to mainstream powder keg (Yahoo)

Youngkin tests activists’ patience as he pushes abortion and guns aside (The Washington Post; WV News)

Stafford County’s local government went from red to purple. Is it the next phase of N. Va.’s ‘blue wave’? (The Washington Post)

What could Glenn Youngkin as governor actually do to alter admissions at TJ? (The Washington Post; msn.com)

Opinion: In Virginia, dial ‘C’ for ‘crisis’ (The Washington Post)

Democrats face tumultuous process to get massive social spending package passed (Fox News)

2021 Political Roundtable: Surfing Va.’s red wave (Virginia Business)

Will The Tea Party Of 2022 Emerge From The Debate Over Schools? Virginia Election Offers GOP Template For Midterms (Virginia Patch)

VIRGINIA — Youngkin Pledged More Parental Control of Education, But Changes May Prove Difficult (T74)

Steve Bannon Indicted by Grand Jury (CTV News)

Edwards vows to stay on (Cardinal News)

Three Amigos Summit: US Protectionism at Centre (CP24)

Trudeau in Washington (CTV News)

 

COMMENTARY: Youngkin proves the political virtues of vanilla (The Free Lance-Star)

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.