July 2, 2022

Hanna and Students Publish Article in Southeastern Geographer

Meredith Stone (UMW 2015), Ian Spangler (UMW 2016), Xavier Griffin (UMW 2016) and Stephen Hanna’s article, “Searching for the enslaved in the ‘Cradle of Democracy’: Virginia’s James River plantation websites and the reproduction of local histories,” was published in the Southeastern Geographer, Volume 56, Issue 2, and is available through Project Muse (https://muse.jhu.edu/article/622286).

Meredith, Ian and Xavier were research assistants funded by Dr. Hanna’s Waple Professorship and National Science Foundation grant to examine how the enslaved are incorporated into the histories represented at plantation museums.  This article presents some of their preliminary findings.

Farnsworth and Hanna Published in Washington Post

A map by Stephen Hanna, professor of geography, and a column by Stephen Farnsworth, professor of political science and director of the University’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies, which both discussed the recent state legislative elections were published in “The Fix” blog of The Washington Post. The column was entitled “The 2015 Election in Virginia: A Tribute to Gerrymandering.”

UMW Geographer Featured on “With Good Reason” (The Free Lance-Star)

UMW Geography Professor Featured on With Good Reason

University of Mary Washington Professor of Geography Stephen Hanna will be featured on the With Good Reason public radio program that airs beginning Saturday, June 13. Students Ian Spangler, Xavier Griffin, Meredith Stone, and Professor Stephen Hanna at Oak Alley. In the show, “Marking Stories of Slavery,” Hanna discusses his research team’s efforts to determine if Southern plantation museums continue to gloss over the wealth accrued through slave labor in favor of more romanticized depictions of plantation life. With Good Reason is a program of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. The show airs weekly in Fredericksburg on Sundays from 1-2 p.m. on Radio IQ 88.3 Digital. To listen from outside of the Fredericksburg area, a complete list of air times and links to corresponding radio stations can be found at http://withgoodreasonradio.org/when-to-listen.  Audio files of the full program and its companion news feature will be available online at http://withgoodreasonradio.org/2015/06/marking-stories-of-slavery/. Hanna is a human geographer by training with primary interests in the economic and cultural characteristics of places within the global economy. He has extensive training and work experience in cartography and geographic information systems. In addition to teaching these topics at the University, he regularly prepares maps for publication in academic books and journals. His research on narratives of slavery and emancipation in Fredericksburg’s heritage tourism landscape has been published in cultural geographies, The Southeastern Geographer, Social and Cultural Geography and as a chapter in Social Memory and Heritage Tourism Methodologies, a book he co-edited. He also co-edited the book Mapping Tourism and has written multiple articles, including publications in Progress in Human Geography, ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies, Historical Geography and Urban Geography. Hanna is a member of the Association of American Geographers and the Southeastern Division of the Association of American Geographers. He holds a doctorate in geography from the University of Kentucky, a master’s degree in geography from the University of Vermont and a bachelor’s degree in geography from Clark University.

More to the Tour: Slave History at Virginia’s Plantations (WVTF.org)






Hanna’s Edited Volume Published

Steve Hanna, professor of Geography, is the lead editor of a recently published book: Social Memory and Heritage Tourism Methodologies.  A part of Routledge’s Contemporary Geographies of Leisure, Tourism and Mobility Series, this volume’s chapters demonstrate methodological innovations for analyzing the process and politics of remembering and touring the past through place. Hanna also co-wrote one of the book’s chapters on using qualitative GIS to study heritage landscapes with Fariss Hodder, a 2014 graduate.

Farnsworth, Hanna and Hermerding Publish Research

A research project on the 2014 U.S. Senate election in Virginia co-authored by Stephen Farnsworth, professor of political science and director of UMW’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies, Stephen Hanna, professor of geography and Benjamin Hermerding, an Alvey Scholar at UMW and a research associate at the center, was featured in the Washington Post and published in the Daily Kos, a leading online news source.




Why Mark Warner’s Race Turned Into a Nail-biter (The Washington Post)

Hanna and Student Publish Historical Markers Study

Stephen Hanna, chair and professor of Geography, and Fariss Hodder ’14 co-wrote an article based on a Fredericksburg historical markers study completed while Hodder was a student. The article, “Reading the signs: using a qualitative Geographic Information System to examine the commemoration of slavery and emancipation on historical markers in Fredericksburg, Virginia” is now available in “cultural geographies,” an international journal of peer-reviewed scholarly research.

Hanna and Hodder also co-authored a chapter for “Social Memory and Heritage Tourism Methodologies,” a methodology book that will be published by Routledge in February 2015.

UMW Geography Professor Awarded National Grant

University of Mary Washington professor Stephen Hanna is the recipient of a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to conduct fieldwork at plantation museums in the American South. Hanna is professor of geography at UMW, and is an expert on commemorative landscapes, cartography, and critical applications of GIS.

Hanna and his research partners will conduct fieldwork at plantations, like the Oak Alley Plantation in Louisiana. Photo by Arnold Modlin (Norfolk State).

Hanna and his research partners will conduct fieldwork at plantations, like the Oak Alley Plantation in Louisiana. Photo by Arnold Modlin (Norfolk State).

The NSF grant, totaling $445,423 over three years, will support the project “Transformation of Racialized American Southern Heritage Landscape.”  Hanna is co-principal investigator for the project with David Butler (University of Southern Mississippi), Derek Alderman (University of Tennessee), Perry Carter (Texas Tech University), Amy Potter (Armstrong Atlantic State University), and Arnold Modlin (Norfolk State University).

The grant, supplemented by Hanna’s Waple Professorship, will allow Hanna and three UMW undergraduate students to join faculty and graduate students from the other universities to conduct fieldwork at plantation museums in Louisiana, coastal South Carolina and Georgia, and Virginia’s James River region.

Stephen Hanna

Stephen Hanna

During the fieldwork, students and faculty will survey and interview plantation visitors, tour guides, and owners, and will conduct participant observations of the tours. Based on pilot research already conducted at four plantation museums in Louisiana, the researchers aim to determine how and to what extent narratives of the enslaved are incorporated in the landscapes and narrations of these museums. They will document visitors’ experiences to show how the role of slavery in the region’s and country’s history are presented at these sites.

Throughout the project, Hanna will teach UMW students to transcribe, code and analyze qualitative data. Students will map the plantation sites and create a website, hosted by UMW, to disseminate the project’s results.