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Susan Kern

Professor and Director, Historic Preservation Program at the School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at the University of Maryland

Regional Areas of Research: Early America, United States
Thematic Areas of Research: American South, Material Culture, Public History


Susan Kern received her PhD in History from William and Mary in 2005 and her masters in Architectural History from the University of Virginia in 1990.  In between she worked in the archaeology department at Monticello, including two years directing that research.  Her research interests include how the material world influences human behavior and interaction; she is as interested in plantation field work, factory floor plans, and tools, as she is in consumer goods and decorative arts.  She also studies how museums and historic sites make use of the recent and distant past.  Her courses include the Field School in Material Culture, Public History, History of Museums and Historic Preservation, Eighteenth Century Williamsburg, and the NIAHD Internship for Credit (  Her book The Jeffersons at Shadwell appeared from Yale University Press in 2010.  

Awards, Fellowships and Publications
Her book, The Jeffersons at Shadwell (Yale University Press, 2010) won the Abbott Lowell Cummings Award for the book with the most significant contribution to the study of vernacular architecture and cultural landscapes of North America.  It also won the Richard Slatten Award for excellence in Virginia biography from the Virginia Historical Society.