Kelly Schmidt

Kelly Schmidt



Office: Crown Center 557

Faculty Advisor: Kyle Roberts

Dissertation: "We heard sometimes their earnest desire to be free in a free country": Enslaved People, Jesuit Masters, and Negotiations for Freedom on American Borderlands, 1823-1907


B.A., Honors Bachelor of Arts (Classics: Latin, Greek, and Philosophy) and History, Xavier University, 2014

M.A., United States History and Public History, 2016

Ph.D., United States History and Public History, expected 2021

Research Interests

My research interests are in 18th and 19th century United States history, particularly regarding race, slavery, and abolition. My dissertation examines the lives of the enslaved people who belonged to the Society of Jesus during the nineteenth century. Within the realm of public history, I am interested in museums and historic sites, especially museums of memory and conscience and museum ethics. I have recently been studying how institutions, particularly institutions of higher learning, are attempting to reconcile with their histories of racism and slaveholding.

Awards and Fellowships

Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism Research Travel Grant, 2019

The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the State of Illinois Award for Graduate Study in American History, 2019

Award of Merit for the "Chrysler Village History Project," American Association for State and Local History Leadership in History Awards, 2017

Honorable Mention, Alice Smith Prize in Public History, Midwestern History Association, for the "Chrysler Village History Project," 2017

National Council on Public History Student Project Award for the "Chrysler Village History Project," 2017

McCluggage Graduate Student Essay Award, 2017

Graduate Teaching Assistanceship and Merit Fellowship, 2014-2019

Winter-Cohen Family Brueggeman Fellow, 2012-2014

Eigel Center Community-Engaged Fellow, 2010-2014

Gilder Lehrman History Scholar, 2014

Vincent and Hilda Gudorf Minority Studies Award, 2014

Louis J. and Mildred V. Simon History Award, 2014

Ohio Campus Compact Charles J. Ping Student Service Award, 2013-2014

Phi Beta Kappa, 2013

Alpha Sigma Nu, 2012

Mortar Board, 2011


"Enslaved Faith Communities in the Jesuits' Missouri Mission," article publised in the Church and Slavery issue of the U.S. Catholic Historian, May 2019.

"The Digital Tavern: Conceptualizing Parallels between Textual Networks in the Age of Revolutions and the Digital Humanities Today," published on The Panorama: Expansive Views from the Journal of the Early Republic in conjunction with The Junto: A Group Blog on Early American History as part of a joint series on "Digital Research, Digital Age: Blogging New Approaches to Early American Studies," April 2019.

"Digital Paxton: Collaborative Construction with Eighteenth Century Manuscripts," published in The Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy, January 2019.

"Mourning Clothes," entry published in The World of Antebellum America: A Daily Life Encyclopedia, September 2018.

"Privacy in the Iliad," published in the Xavier University Journal of Undergraduate Research, May 2013, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Conference Presentations and Panels

"'Our Inheritance: The Legacy of Slavery at Jesuit Schools," presentation at the Jesuit Schools Network Colloquium, June 26, 2019, Chicago, Illinois.

"'Regulations for Our Black People': Jesuit Recordkeeping on Slavery in Antebellum Missouri," presentation at the International Symposium on Jesuit Studies, June 12, 2019, Boston, Massachusetts.

"Mapping Kinship in an Enslaved Community," poster at the Chicago Colloquium on Digital  Humanities and Computer Science, November 10, 2018, Chicago, Illinois.

"Digital Pedagogy and the Radical Networks of Common Sense," presentation at the International Conference of Thomas Paine Studies, October 12, 2018, New Rochelle, New York.

"Insights and Methodologies for Researching Slavery at Religious Archives," presentation at the Association for Catholic Diocesan Archivists Conference, July 24, 2018, Mundelein, Illinois.

"Enslaved Experience among the Missouri Jesuits: An Update on Our Findings," speech given at the Province Day o the Jesuits US Central and Southern Province, June 8, 2018, St. Louis, Missouri.

“Crossing the Line: Facilitating Digital Access to Primary Sources,” working group panelist at the National Council on Public History, April 21, 2018, Las Vegas, Nevada.

"'Explore Common Sense:' A Digital Critical Edition," presented at the Chicago Colloquium on Digital Humanities and Computer Science, November 19, 2017, Chicago, Illinois.

“The Middle or the Edge?: Sustaining, Transitioning, and Sunsetting Community Public History Projects,” roundtable discussion panelist at the National Council on Public History Annual Meeting, April 22, 2017, Indianapolis, Indiana.

“‘Without Slaves and without Assassins:’ Transnational Jesuits in Antebellum Cincinnati, 1840-1866,” poster presented at the Urban History Association Conference, October 14, 2016, Chicago, Illinois.

“Chrysler Village: From Historic Preservation to Community Engagement,” poster presented at the American Alliance for State and Local History Annual Meeting, September 16, 2016, Detroit, Michigan.

“Using the Element of Surprise to Challenge ‘Mythconceptions’ about the History of Race and Slavery,” poster presented at the National Council on Public History Annual Meeting, March 17, 2016, Baltimore, Maryland.

“Acknowledging a Complicated Past: Race and Slavery at Xavier University, 1830s-1870s,” presented at the Jesuits and Race Symposium, November 11, 2015, St. Louis, Missouri.

"Slavery as Entertainment: Power Relationships in Ancient Roman Comedy," presented at the Miami University 13th Annual Undergraduate Classics Conference, April 12, 2014, Oxford, Ohio.

"Slavery as Entertainment: Power Relationships in Nineteenth Century Minstrel Shows," presented at the National Conference of Undergraduate Research, April 3-5, 2014, Lexington, Kentucky.

"Privacy in the Iliad," presented at the American Philological Association Annual Meeting, January 3, 2014, Chicago, Illinois.

"Hardship in the Promised Land: Evaluating Public History's Portrayal of the Obstacles to Freedom and Abolition in Cincinnati," presented at the Historians Against Slavery Conference, September 21, 2013, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Unpublished Work

“‘Without Slaves and without Assassins:’ Transnational Jesuits in Antebellum Cincinnati, 1840-1866,” article, 2016.

"Slavery as Entertainment: Power Relationships in Ancient Roman Comedy and Nineteenth Century Minstrel Shows." Honors Bachelor of Arts Capstone Thesis, 2014.

Public History Experience

Museum Work

Colonial Willamsburg Foundation, Education Outreach Teacher Institute Intern, Summer 2015-2016

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Museum Experiences Specialist, Docent, Youth Docent Educator and Mentor, 2008-2015

Cincinnati Museum Center, Volunteer, 2008-2016

Heritage Village Museum, Costumed Docent, 2002-present

Exhibition Development

"Household Racism: The Legacy of Minstrel Stereotypes in Domestic Objects," Fall 2014-present

"Souvenir, Talisman, Toy" Exhibition Dialogue Team Member and Exhibit Volunteer, Summer 2013

Research and Interpretation

Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States, Research Coordinator for the Slavery, History Memory, and Reconciliation Project, Fall 2016-present

"Faithful Service, Community, and Care: The Angel Guardian Orphanage and Misericordia Walking Tour," Tour Proposal for the Rogers Park/West Ridge Historical Society, Chicago, Illinois, Fall 2014

Western Female Seminary Living History Society, Living Historian, 2005-present

College Hill Historical Society, Living Historian, 2013

Digital Media

Explore Common Sense: The Digital British Editioncreator, 2016-present

Kenilworth Centennial Structuresdeveloper, 2017-2018

Chrysler Village History Project: Preserving and Sharing the Histories of Chrysler Villagewebmaster and editor, 2015-present

Antebellum Cincinnati: Social Intersections in the Queen Citywebsite webmaster and editor, 2014

The Lakefront Historian: A Student-Run Public History Blog from Chicagocontributor, 2015-2016

Clio in Cyberspace: Musings on Public HistorySpring 2016-2017

Evanston Women and the 19th, developer, Spring 2016

"Cincinnati Race Riots: 1967 and 1968," video presentation at the Food and Drug Administration, Cincinnati, Ohio, February 2, 2014

Visitor Services and Evaluation

Digital Paxton transcription project, Evaluation Developer, 2016

Glessner House and Clark House Museums Assesssment Project, Spring 2015

"RACE: Are We So Different?" Exhibition, Illinois Holocaust Museum, Visitor Evaluation Inteviewer2014-2015

Conservation and Collections Management

"Bomba Drum," Artifact analysis and interpretation label, Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center, Chicago, IllinoisFall 2014

Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, Collections and Preservation Volunteer, 2013

Cultural Resource Management

"Ambidexter Institute, Springfield, Illinois" National Register Nomination, Spring 2015-present

"Chrysler Village History Project: Preserving and Sharing the Histories of Chrysler Village," Fall 2014-present

Camp Douglas Restoration Foundaton, Archaeological Dig Volunteer, October 2014 & 2015

Author: Kelly Schmidt
Last modified: 1/18/2020 8:59 AM (EDT)