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Ashley Bouknight

anbouknight@gmail.com
www.ashleybouknight.com

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE:

Robert Churchwell Museum Magnet School Elementary School, Nashville, Tennessee
Museum Instructional Designer, July 2017-present
 Teach collections management and administration to 4th grade museum club
 Development and implement museum programs and curriculum for Pre-K through 4th grade students
 Co-curate exhibits with 4th grade museum club

The Hermitage: Home of President Andrew Jackson, Hermitage, Tennessee
Curator, July 2011-present
 Curated the exhibit From Slavery to Freedom: Stories of the Hermitage Enslaved Community (2013) on the
enslaved African Americans community during the antebellum and post-Civil War periods
 Developed tours and conducts lectures on the enslaved community and African-American interpretation at
The Hermitage
 Serves as an author of the “Notes from the Curator” section of the members’ newsletter
 Serves as Co-Chair for The Hermitage’s Black History Month Programming
 Conducts full inventories of the site’s collection including textiles, ceramics, books, manuscripts,
photographs, fine art, furniture, and other decorative arts
 Serves as supervisor to two curatorial aides and all collections volunteers and interns

University of South Carolina/ The Boudreaux Group Inc., March 2011-November 2012
Exhibit Designer/Curator, March 2011-2013
 Developed the concept, theme, and design for the exhibition, Gone but Not Forgotten: Booker T. Washington
High School, 1916-1974, highlighting Booker T. Washington High School, the only African-American high
school in Columbia South Carolina from 1918 until the late 1940s
 Responsible for all acquisitions obtained from repositories and Booker T. Washington High School alumni
and maintains a database of current and incoming exhibit material

Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections Library, University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio
Museum Specialist/Archival Intern, July 2010 - August 2010
 Processed a 7 linear foot collection of the personal papers of Toledoan Mike Ferner, a political activist and
former city councilman and created a finding aid to the collection, including a biographical sketch of Mr.
Ferner’s life and work
 Researched the history of industry and business in Toledo, Ohio for the Center’s annual exhibit, Wholly
Toledo: The Business and Industry that Shaped the City
 Produced a 15-minute documentary for the annual exhibition using iMovies software highlighting images and
artifacts from the exhibit

Historic Columbia Foundation, Columbia, South Carolina
Curatorial Assistant, August 2008 – May 2010
 Served as lead researcher for the Director of Collections and Interpretation in compiling information for a
walking tour on the Waverly community, an historic African –American community in Columbia, South
Carolina, for an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant project
 Participated in a full inventory of the Foundation’s collection including textiles, ceramics, specimens, books,
manuscripts, photographs, fine art, furniture, and other decorative arts
 Created and installed temporary and permanent exhibits in the historic homes

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McKissick Museum, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina
Intern, May 2009 – October 2009
 Organized and assisted in a professional artifact photo shoot for McKissick’s website highlighting the
national traveling exhibit, Grassroots: African Origins for an American Art, on display February 2010 to May
2010

History Department, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina
Research Assistant, January 2008-May 2010
 Served as curator and exhibit designer for the exhibit, And Lest We Forget: Remembering Ward One, which
highlighted one of the neighborhoods from the research project
 Responsible for conducting research for Professor of History, Dr. Bobby Donaldson to document the histories
of five African-American neighborhoods in the Columbia area from 1900 to the present

Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture, Charleston, South Carolina
Avery History Summer Camp Education Coordinator and Instructor, May 2007-August 2007
 Developed weekly educational curriculum that fulfilled South Carolina history standards for students ages 8-
12, including basket making, quilting, and guided history tours of downtown Charleston

PRESENTATIONS:

“And Lest We Forget: Remembering Ward One: A Documentary,”
 A documentary created with iMovies software using oral history interviews and historic images
o Presenter, National Council of Public History 2009, poster presentation session
o Presenter, “Bearing Witness: Documenting African American History in the Palmetto State,” South
Carolina Department of Archives and History, Columbia, April 2009, lecture series presentation

“From Slavery to Freedom: Telling the Stories of the Hermitage Enslaved Community”
 Annual Conference Keynote Speaker, Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, October 2013
 Coffee with the Curator, May 2015

“Chocolate at the Hermitage”
 Lecture, American Heritage: Historic Chocolate Program with the Historic Division of MARS, Inc.,
November 2012

“Fibers of Life African-American Textile Traditions at the Hermitage”
 Lecture, Black History Month Program, February 2014

“Jackson in Ten: The Man Beyond the Presidency”
 Co-Presenter with Marsha Mullin, Chief Curator/Vice President of Museum Services, Andrew Jackson’s
247th Birthday Program, March 2014

“From Slavery to Freedom: Interpreting Slavery at the Hermitage”
 A workshop on Comparative Slavery conducted in conjunction with the Vanderbilt Summer Academy for
rising 8th-10th graders, June 2014

“Interpreting Slavery at the Hermitage,”
 A virtual walking tour created with iMovies which documents the history of the enslaved community at
Andrew Jackson’s The Hermitage, Black History Month Program, 2015

“Making Space for Activists: Public History in the Age of Ferguson”
 Presenter, National Council of Public History Conference, 2015

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“Staying True: ‘Spokesperson for All Blackness?’”
 Panelist, Association of African American Museums Conference, 2015

“Public Historians of Color: Challenging the Profession”
 Panelist, National Council of Public History Conference, 2016

“Teaching and Learning for Cultural Competency in the Profession”
 Panelist, National Council of Public History Conference, 2017

“Fun with Faux Food!”
 Workshop co-presenter, American Association for State and Local History, 2017

“The Power in Preservation: Reevaluating Activism through Black Material Culture”
 Presenter, Transforming Public History from Charleston to the Atlantic, Carolina Lowcountry and Atlantic
World, 2017
 Nashville Conference on African American History and Culture, 2018

“Uplifting as We Climb: Reinventing the Partnerships Between Museums and Communities in the 21st Century”
 Co-Presenter, Association of African American Museums Conference, August 2018

EXHIBITS

A Woman’s Light: Making History in South Carolina Exhibit, South Carolina State Museum, Summer 2008
 Provided assistance to the South Carolina State Museum Curator of History, Elaine Nichols to locate
information and images related to 40 women who have made significant contributions to the history and
heritage of South Carolina, from the colonial period to today.
 The information provided during this process was compiled into an on-line exhibit

And Lest We Forget: Remembering Ward One, South Carolinana Library, January 2010-March 2010
 Served as curator and exhibit designer for a text panel and photograph exhibit highlighting the displacement
of residents from the Ward One Community by the University of South Carolina
 Supervised and trained student volunteers during the exhibit installation
 Prepared exhibit budget and managed the disbursement of funds
 Produced a documentary shown in the exhibit on the history of Ward One and the urban renewal project

Grassroots: African Origins for an American Art, McKissick Museum, February 2010-May2010
 Created public programming and educational resources for the exhibit
 Organized and assisted in a professional artifact photo shoot for exhibition
 Drafted the exhibit’s introductory statement listed on McKissick’s website

Gone but Not Forgotten: Booker T. Washington High School, 1916-1974, University of South Carolina/ The
Boudreaux Group Inc., March 2011-November 2012
 Served as a consultant for an exhibit which will highlight the history of Booker T. Washington High School,
one of the only high schools for African-Americans in Columbia, South Carolina from 1916-1974.

From Slavery to Freedom: Stories of the Hermitage Enslaved Community, Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage, February
2013
 Curated exhibit on the enslaved African Americans community at The Hermitage during the
antebellum and post-Civil War periods

Andrew Jackson: Born for a Storm, Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage, 2015
 Served as a member on a multi-department team in the development and curation of an exhibition which
chronicles the life and legacy of President Andrew Jackson.
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PUBLICATIONS:

Black Museology: Reevaluating African American Material Culture, (Under Contract) University of Massachusetts
Press, Amherst, MA

"Prized Pieces of Land: The Impact of Reconstruction on African-American Land Ownership Lower Richland County,
South Carolina,” June 2009. Co-author, produced as a preservation brief for a graduate historic preservation
course at the University of South Carolina, Dr. Robert Weyeneth, instructor

“Interpreting Slavery at the Hermitage: An Interpretive Manual and Tour Guidebook” (Internal document), 2014

“Notes from the Curator”: The Hermitage Member Newsletter

“Have You Eaten Today?,” History News. 72, (2017): 5-6.

EDUCATION:

Doctor of Philosophy, Public History, December 2016
Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Focus area: Museum Studies, African American Interpretation in Museums
Dissertation Title: Black Museology: Reevaluating African American Material Culture

Certificate in Museum Management, December 2010
University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina

Masters of Arts, Public History (Museum Track), May 2010
University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina

Bachelor of Arts, Historic Preservation and Community Planning, May 2007
College of Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina

PROFESSIONAL SERVICE

American Association for State and Local History (AASLH)
 National Leadership Awards Team,
o State Representative: Tennessee, 2014-2015
o Regional Representative, 2016-present
 Program Committee, 2016-present

Inter-museum Council of Nashville (ICON)
 Board Member, 2013-2016
 Vice President, 2015-2016

National Council on Public History (NCPH)
 Program Committee, 2016
 Outstanding Public History Project Award Committee, 2017-2020

HONORS AND AWARDS:

Phi Alpha Theta, National History Honor Society, 2014
Douglas Evelyn Scholarship, American Association for State and Local History, 2012
LaPaglia Scholarship for Historic House Museums, Southeastern Museum Conference, 2011
American Alliance of Museums Diversity Fellowship, 2009
South Carolina Federation of Museums Scholarship, 2009
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