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Mount Vernon - Defining Spaces: Constructing Citizenship and Country

On May 18, 2016 join the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of Gorge Washington at Mount Vernon for an interactive and thought provoking program, Defining Spaces: Constructing Citizenship and Country.

How do we organize a country full of a rich diversity? How do we think of ourselves? How do we structure space to divide groups? To bring groups together? How do we identify in the virtual world? How can we find solutions to problems about community, citizenship, and nationhood?

Speakers from a variety of academic and professional fields to inspire students to use historical skills and evidence to solve problems in their communities. Investigate the founding of American nationhood with well-known historians, connect the design of cities to community social change with an urban visionary, and explore creating countries and citizens in the virtual world with a digital technologies expert.

Watch the live webcast »

May 18, 2016
9 a.m.-1 p.m. Eastern/6 a.m.-10 a.m. Pacific

David SilvermanDr. David Silverman
David J. Silverman specializes in American Indian and Colonial American History. He is the author of Red Brethren: The Brothertown and Stockbridge Indians and the Problem of Race in Early America, and Faith and Boundaries: Colonists, Christianity, and Community among the Wampanoag Indians of Martha’s Vineyard, 1600-1871, and co-author of Ninigret, the Niantic and Narragansett Sachem: Diplomacy, War, and the Balance of Power in Seventeenth-Century New England and Indian Country. He is also co-editor with GW’s Denver Brunsman of Colonial America: Essays in Politics and Social Development, and The American Revolution Reader.  His essays have won major awards from the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture and the New York Association of History. He is currently writing a book for Harvard University Press with the working title of Thundersticks: Firearms and the Transformation of Native America.

Allie O’Neill is an architectural designer with expertise in high-end residential design, often working in historically landmarked neighborhoods. Her work focuses on bringing context-sensitive, highly personalized design solutions to clients with a wide range of tastes and needs. A belief in the power of design to empower people, shape lives, and create resilient communities is an underlying force in all of Allie’s work. She is an experienced workshop facilitator and has brought participatory design projects to fruition in diverse communities in Chicago, Baltimore, and Washington, DC.  

Allie is an architectural designer at the Nahra Design Group in Washington, DC and co-director of Development with Open Architecture DC. She holds a Bachelors of Science in Architecture degree from the Catholic University of America and certificate in Sustainable Urban Design from Archeworks.

Cody Coltharp teaches game design at the Smithsonian Hirshhorn Museum's ARTLAB+ program; a free, radically inclusive after-school program where teens can socialize with friends, explore digital media and technical tools to develop their interests. Cody also consults on and develops educational games at the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access and co-chairs Smithsonian Gaming, the Smithsonian’s game-based learning group. Before joining the Smithsonian, Cody was the Art Director for Green Door Labs, building location-based mobile games for museums and schools.

Denver BrunsmanDr. Denver Brunsman
Denver Brunsman writes on the politics and social history of the American Revolution, early American republic, and British Atlantic world. His courses include “George Washington and His World,” taught annually at Washington’s Mount Vernon estate. His book, The Evil Necessity: British Naval Impressment in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World (University of Virginia Press, 2013), received the Walker Cowen Memorial Prize for an outstanding work in eighteenth-century studies in the Americas and Atlantic world. His honors include research fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities at the Newberry Library, Chicago; the Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies, University of Michigan; the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, University of Pennsylvania; and the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon