Jenny Thompson



RESEARCH & TEACHING FIELDS
20th Century American Culture and History; Public History; Ethnography and Oral History; History of Visual Imagery; Cultural History of War; Contemporary American Culture; and Living History and War Reenacting.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

Director of Education, Evanston History Center, Evanston, IL, August 2006-present.

Founder, History and Company (archival consulting, historical media consulting, design and marketing; history research and writing), 2006-present.

Archivist, Alpha Phi Foundation, January 2007-September 2013.

Public Historian, May 2001-June 2005.
Archives and Museum of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Foundation, Evanston, IL.

Instructor, Roosevelt University, Chicago and Schaumburg, IL, July 2001--June 2003.

Instructor, University of Maryland, College Park, Department of American Studies, July 1997--December 2000.

Undergraduate Advisor, Department of American Studies, University of Maryland, College Park, May 1997--May 2000.

Academic Advisor, College of Arts and Humanities, University of Maryland, College Park, January 1998--December 1999.

Graduate Instructor and Teaching Assistant, University of Maryland, College Park, Department of American Studies, August 1994--May 1997.

Research Assistant to Historic Preservation Program, University of Maryland, College Park, July 1996--August 1997.

Research Assistant to Executive Director, The Information Trust, Washington, D.C., March 1993--July 1993.

Government Document Researcher for Class Action Housing Discrimination Suit, National Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law, Washington, D.C. 1992--1993.

Intern/​Fellow in the Office of Prints and Photographs, Assistant to the Curator of Photographs, National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C., Office of Prints and Photographs, 1990--1991.

PROFESSIONAL CONSULTATIONS

For "Embracing the Farb: Modes of Reenacting," exhibit, Columbia College, Chicago, November 2012-Feburary 2013.

For Back Story, interview (off-air) for radio show on reenacting, September 2012

For Talking Points Memo, background to story about Richard Iott, October 2010

For Philadelphia Daily News, story on Vietnam War Reenacting by Dana Difilippo, August 2009.

For Stars and Stripes, D Day Anniversary Story, June 2009.

For Details Magazine, war reenacting story by Jeff Gordinier, September 2007.

For Ancestry Magazine, war reenacting story by Jeanie Croasmun (May-June 2006).

For the Orlando Sentinel, “War Games: Playing with Fire,” expert commentary on history and meaning of war reenacting. Story by Aline Mendelsohn, 24 January 2006.

For The Baltimore Sun, “Déjà Vu: Fact and Fiction About the War in Iraq Come Face to Face in the New FX Drama ‘Over There.’” Story by David Zurawik, 24 July 2005.

For Newsweek, background for war reenacting story by Daniel Berrett, July 2005.

For CNN, development of war reenacting story, with Tristan Smith, producer, March 2005.

For WTTW’s “Chicago Tonight,” story on Tiffany Windows, Julianne Hill, producer, February 2005.

For Sigma Chi Fraternity Museum, Evanston, IL. Evaluation of museum, creation of museum plan and strategy, and creation of museum inventory, October 2004.

For Wprost Weekly (Poland), war reenacting story by Wojtek Kozinski, June 2004.

For The American Experience documentary, “Golden Gate Bridge,” Laura Longsworth and Ben Loeterman producers, March 2004.

For The History Channel (A&E) documentary, “Frat Boys,” 2003.

For Focus Magazine (Germany), war reenacting story by Stefan Wagner, February 2000.

For People Magazine, 1975 Vietnam evacuation story, December 1999.

For The Baltimore Sun, “Television Brings into Focus Meanings of Memorable Pictures,” (Vietnam Anniversary) story by David Zurawik, April 1995.

PUBLICATIONS

BOOKS:

Editor, A Journal of the Great War by Charles Gates Dawes, first published in 1921. Evanston History Center Press, 2016.

Editor, A Classic Town: The Story of Evanston by Frances Willard, first published in 1891. Lulu Press, 2014.

Author, The History of Alpha Phi Fraternity, 1872-Present. Alpha Phi International Fraternity and Foundation, Evanston, IL, 2013.

Editor, Evanston: A Tour Through the City's History by Margery Blair Perkins, Evanston History Center, 2013.

Editor, My Hut: A Memoir of a YMCA Volunteer in World War I by William C. Levere. IUniverse, 2006.

Author, War Games: Inside the World of 20th-Century War Reenactors. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 2004, 2010.

SELECTED ESSAYS & ARTICLES:

Essay, "War Recreated," in Zones of Control: Perspectives on War Gaming. Boston: MIT Press, 2016.

Exhibition Catalogue Essay, "Embracing the Farb: Modes of Reenacting," exhibit, Columbia College, Chicago, November 2012.

Edited Book Article, "The Authentic Illusion: Twentieth-Century War Reenactors and the Image of History," for anthology War Isn't Hell, It's Entertainment: Essays on Visual Media and the Representation of Conflict. Eds. Rikke Schubart and Tanja Thomas. (McFarland, 2009.)

Article, "Clara Bradley Burdette: Her Answer," Alpha Phi Quarterly (Fall 2007).

Article, “A Record Worth Keeping,” Alpha Phi Quarterly (Spring 2007).

Edited Book Article, “‘This Really Happened’: Ethnography, War Reenacting, and the Conflict of Meaning Systems” in Negotiating Culture and Identities: A Life History Approach to the Study of American Cultures. John Caughey, ed. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2006.

Entry, "Robert Capa," in The Encyclopedia of the Home Front: World Wars I and II. Thaddeus Russell, ed. ABC-CLIO, 2006.

Essay, "What Are the People Who Reenact 20th Century Wars Up to?"on the History News Network website. http:/​/​hnn.us/​ Rick Shenkman, ed. 27 December 2004.

Article, “Playing Wars Whose Wounds Are Fresh,” Arts and Ideas Section, The New York Times, Section B, Page 7, 5 June 2004.

Article, “Lucy Phenton Pattie: ‘A Brave Splendid Woman, This Daughter of SAE,’ ” The Record: The Quarterly Journal of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Spring 2004.

Entry, “The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care” in American Masculinities: A Historical Encyclopedia. Bret E. Caroll, ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2003.

Article, “I Will Make Darkness Light: Helen Keller,” The Record: The Quarterly Journal of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Fall 2003.

Article, “ ‘Light on Our History’: The Preservation of the Original Minutes of Sigma Alpha Epsilon,” Thresholds, Sigma Alpha Epsilon Foundation Magazine, Spring 2003.

Feature Article, “The Levere Memorial Temple,” The Record: The Quarterly Journal of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Summer 2002.

Edited Book Article, “Histoires de Guerre Americaines: Representations Populaires de la Premiere Guerre Mondiale,” [“American War Stories: Popular Representations of World War One”] in Hostilites: Guerre, Memoirs, Fiction et Culture Mediatique. Paul Bleton, ed. Canada: Editions Nota Bena, 2001.

Article, “Teaching the Vietnam War to Generation X,” in Journal of the Vietnam Veterans Institute, Volume 6, Numbers 1-4, 1997.

SELECTED INVITED TALKS & INTERVIEWS

Presenter, "Evanston at the Movies: Part II." Evanston History Center. September 2009.

Presenter, "Evanston at the Movies." Evanston History Center. September 2008.

Guest Commentator, “Talking History,” Radio Show. Sponsored by the Organization of American Historians. Fiona Beattie, producer. Broadcast on 5 September 2005.

Guest, Interview with Sam Weller about War Games on “Eight-Forty-Eight,” Radio Show. WBEZ Chicago Public Radio. Broadcast on 27 May 2005.

Presenter. Ethnography Workshop. “It’s Not on the Page Anymore:” Conducting Ethnographic Research on 20th-Century War Reenactors.” Department of Sociology, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, 19 April 2005.

Guest. Segment on 20th-Century War Reenactors, “Talk of the Nation,” National Public Radio, 31 May 2004.

Presenter. Ethnographic Methods. Life Writing Working Group, University of Maryland, College Park, 2000.

Presenter. Conducting Ethnography (for American Studies majors), University of Maryland, College Park, 1999.

Presenter. “Cultural Connections: Performance, Authenticity, and ‘The Break’ in War Reenacting and Hip-Hop.” Presentation with Greg Wahl for students and faculty, University of Maryland, College Park, 1997.

Presenter. War Reenacting. Military Sociology Forum. Sponsored by the Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society, University of Maryland, College Park, 1996.

Panelist. Discussion on Politics in the Classroom. Sponsored by the Department of American Studies, University of Maryland, College Park, 1996.

BOOK & FILM REVIEWS:


Review of Patriotism, Peace, and Vietnam: A Memoir by Peggy Hanna. (Left to Write, 2003) and The Price of Freedom: Americans at War, Smithsonian Institution Exhibition Catalogue (Seattle: Marquand Books, 2005) for the Journal of Material Culture. (2006).

Review of documentary, First Kill. Dir. Coco Schrijber. First Run/​Icarus Films, 2001. For H-Net Reviews. (March 2005).

Review of War and American Women: Heroism, Deeds, and Controversy by William B. Breuer. (Westport, Ct. and London: Praeger, 1997) for HMGS Military and Naval History Forum 7 (March 1998).

Review of Shadow of Suribachi: Raising the Flags on Iwo Jima by Parker Bishop Albee, Jr. and Keller Cushing Freeman. (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1995) for HMGS Military and Naval History Forum 5 (March 1997).

Review of The End of the Age of Innocence: Edith Wharton and the First World War by Alan Price. (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1996) for HMGS Military and Naval History Forum, 5 (March 1997).

Review of Eisenhower: A Centenary Assessment edited by Gunter Bischof and Stephen E. Ambrose (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1995) for HMGS Military and Naval History Forum 4 (July 1996).

Review of Across the Pond by Michael McCormick (New York: Vantage Press, 1994) and Not a Hero, Just Lucky by Dib Taylor (New York: Vantage Press, 1995) for HMGS Military and Naval History Forum 3 (March 1996).

Review of Remembering War the American Way by G. Kurt Piehler (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1995) for American Studies International, 1995.

Review of The Rainbow Division in The Great War 1917-1919 by James J. Cooke (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1994) for HMGS Military and Naval History Forum 2 (March 1995).

PAPERS READ TO PROFESSIONAL SOCIETIES

“My Hut: The Experiences of a YMCA Volunteer in France during World War One,” presented to the Osher Center for Lifelong Learning of Northwestern University, in March 2007, in Evanston, Illinois.

“My Hut: The Experiences of a YMCA Volunteer in France during World War One,” presented to the Kiwanis Club, in March 2007, in Evanston, Illinois.

“My Hut: The Experiences of a YMCA Volunteer in France during World War One,” presented at the Evanston Historical Society, in November 2006, in Evanston, Illinois.

“A ‘History-Free Zone'?: The Representation of the World Trade Center on 9/​11,” presented at the Mid America American Studies Association/​Great Lakes American Studies Association Conference, in April 2003, in Iowa City, Iowa.

“ ‘You Can't Fight Here! This is the War Room!’: Conducting Online Ethnography,” presented at the Cyber Culture Working Group Conference in October 1999, in College Park, Maryland.

“Public and Private Pasts: War Reenacting and the Ownership of History,” presented at the American Studies Association Conference in October 1997, in Washington, D.C.

“War Stories: World War Two Reenactors, Veterans, and the Exchange of History,” presented at the Oral History Association Conference in September 1997, in New Orleans, LA.

“Responses to War Reenacting,” presented at the Conference on Cultural Violence in March 1997, in Washington, D.C.

“‘It's Not on the Page Anymore’: War Reenacting and the Construction of the Past,” presented at the North East Popular Culture Association Annual Meeting in November 1996, in Hamden, CT.

“Conversations with History: A Study of World War Two Reenacting in America,” presented at the Popular Culture Association National Meeting in April 1995, in Philadelphia, PA.

“World War Two Reenacting in America,” presented at the HMGS Military History Forum, Annual Convention in March 1995, in Lancaster, PA.

“American Soldiers in Photographs, 1917-1919,” presented at the HMGS Military History Forum, Annual Convention in March 1994, in Lancaster, PA.

“Framing the Doughboy: The American Soldier in Photographs, 1917-1919,” presented at The Western Front Association Conference in June 1993, in Arlington, VA.

“Washington Allston as Gil Blas: Temptation and Regeneration in Allston’s Donna Mencia,” presented at the Middle Atlantic Symposium on the History of Art, at the National Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, in April 1991, in Washington, D.C.

COURSES DESIGNED & TAUGHT

AMST 428M “Culture and Media of the 1970s,” Department of American Studies, University of Maryland, College Park.

AMST 330 “America’s National Identity, 1975-Present,” Department of American Studies, University of Maryland, College Park.

AMST 207 “Contemporary American Cultures: Ethnography,” Department of American Studies, University of Maryland, College Park.

AMST 201 “The American Experience of War, 1860-Present,” Department of American Studies, University of Maryland, College Park.

AMST 201 “American Culture and the Vietnam War,” Department of American Studies, University of Maryland, College Park.

AMST 201 “Representing the American West, 1893-Present,” Department of American Studies, University of Maryland, College Park.

HIST 361/​HIST 461, “America in the 1970s,” School of Liberal Studies, Roosevelt University, Schaumburg, IL.

HIST 357/​HIST 457, “United States History, 1945-Present,” School
of Liberal Studies, History Department, Roosevelt University, Schaumburg, IL.

HIST 350/​450, JOUR 350, ART 350, “Culture and Media of the 1970s,” School of Liberal Studies, Roosevelt University, Chicago and Schaumburg, IL.

UNIV 101, “Introduction to the University and Computer Resources,” College of Arts and Humanities, University of Maryland, College Park


AWARDS AND HONORS

2006, Colby Award Nomination for War Games: Inside the World of 20th-Century War Reenactors.

2003, 2nd Place, Feature Article, “The Levere Memorial Temple,” College Fraternity Editors Association.

2000, Carl Bode Award for Best Dissertation in American Studies, University of Maryland, College Park.

2000, Nomination, Gabriel Prize for Best Dissertation in American Studies, American Studies Association.

2000, Certificate of Recognition, Teach for America Program.

1997, Research Grant, Department of American Studies, University of Maryland, College Park.

1997, Goldhaber Travel Grant, Graduate School, University of Maryland, College Park.

1996, Outstanding Advisor Award Nomination, College Park Association of Parents, University of Maryland, College Park

1991, Summer Fellowship, Office of Prints and Photographs, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

EDUCATION

University of Maryland, College Park, Ph.D, (American Studies), 1999.
Dissertation: “Common Soldiers: An Ethnography of Twentieth-Century War Reenactors in the United States.” John Caughey, director.

George Washington University, M.A. (American Studies), 1993.
Thesis: “Framing the Doughboy: The American Soldier in Photographs, 1917-1919.” Clarence Mondale and David Bjelajac, directors.

San Francisco State University, B.A. (Humanities), magna cum laude, 1989.

California Institute of the Arts, (Theater), 1984--1985.

VOLUNTEER WORK

Holocaust Memorial Foundation of Illinois, Docent, Skokie, IL, 2005--2007.

Furry Friends Foundation, Animal Shelter, Chicago, IL, July 2005-January 2007.

Judge, 2006 Leo and Antonia Gershanov Memorial Holocaust Essay Contest, Holocaust Memorial Foundation of Illinois.

Volunteer Recruiter, Teach for America, 1998-2000.

Volunteer Advisor, Letters and Sciences, University of Maryland, 1995--1998.


PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

American Association of State and Local History
American Studies Association
The Authors Guild

Links