Public History PhD Candidate, Shima Hosseininasab, Awarded Doctoral Dissertation Completion Grant

We are pleased to announce Shima Hosseininasab was awarded a Doctoral Dissertation Completion Grant for the period January 1, 2024, through June 30, 2024. This in-person program is funded through the Graduate School and is designed to enable students to focus full time on the writing of their dissertation. 

Bunker 599 in Culemborg, Netherlands served as a shelter for soldiers

Shima’s dissertation, titled “The Story of Two Breaches (and a Beheaded Bust): (Re)shaping Public Memory by Radical Interventions in Monuments,” explores the impact and significance of both authorized and unauthorized interventions in historic sites. The focus of her research is on the transformations of Oak Grove Freedman’s Cemetery in Salisbury, NC, and Bunker 599 in the Netherlands. By delving into these case studies, she hopes to understand the consequences of interventions in the context of evolving heritage practices, cultural heritage preservation, and their relationship to broader discussions on heritage control amidst new political agendas. As a doctoral candidate in Public History, she has invested significant time and effort in conducting archival research, field observations, and comparing case studies in Salisbury, North Carolina, United States, and Utrecht, The Netherlands. Her research aims to contribute profoundly to the field of heritage studies by highlighting the dynamic nature of heritage, emphasizing its cultural and social values, addressing architectural injustices through adaptive reuse, exploring community involvement in heritage management, and critically assessing the plural and progressive heritage discourse.

Shima believes her grant application may have stood out for several reasons including clarity of purpose, comparative nature of the research, commitment to the field, and resilience and dedication. The inclusion of a comparative analysis between the United States and The Netherlands in her case studies adds a unique and valuable dimension to her research, showcasing a broader perspective and contributing to the diversity of academic discourse. Also commitment to addressing architectural injustices, exploring community involvement in heritage management, and critically assessing the plural and progressive heritage discourse likely demonstrated her deep passion for the field of Public History and a commitment to making meaningful contributions. Finally her narrative about overcoming challenges, personal setbacks, and disruptions during the research trip, could have highlighted her resilience and dedication to her academic pursuits, showcasing her ability to persevere in the face of adversity.

Shima has been the recipient of several NC State travel grants and fellowships, she took 3rd place in the humanities category in the 16th Annual NC State University Graduate Student Research Symposium in 2023 and she was a finalist in the Three Minutes (3MT) Competition also in 2023.  In 2022, Shima was the recipient of the C. David Jackson Memorial Scholarship Award  from the  Society of North Carolina Archivists and a 2021 recipient of the North Carolina Museum Council Student Memorial Award.

Upon receiving her Ph.D., Shima intends to contribute actively to the academic community, continue her research, and potentially engage in public history and heritage-related projects that bridge the gap between theory and practice. 


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