MA student Jana Venable began working with the Frances S. Summersell Center for the Study of the South as an undergraduate in January 2020, when she enrolled in Dr. John Giggie’s “The Long Civil Rights Movement” course.
While a student in that course she began researching lynching and racial violence in her home community of Elmore County, Alabama. Over the last three years Jana has continued that research, working alongside Dr. Giggie and her student colleagues to create a partnership with the Elmore County Black History Museum, to support the museum’s efforts documenting the history of Black domestic life in their community.
This spring, Jana is taking on a new role in the Summersell Center as the Vivian Malone Fellow, where she co-teaches HY 406: Southern Memory, Lynching in Alabama with Dr. Giggie. Jana was herself a student in the course as an undergraduate. Co-teaching allows her to continue her work with Dr. Giggie researching the lives of lynching victims from Elmore County.
“The Vivian Malone Fellowship has allowed me the unique opportunity to focus deeply on the collaborative and community-based practices of history that originally propelled me to pursue a graduate degree in history at UA,” Jana said. “Working with the Summersell Center over the last three years has been a transformative experience in my life. It is a privilege to continue building and shaping the courses and projects that have been so important to me.”