PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
MA, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Elijah Gaddis studies the spatial, material and cultural histories of the 19th- and 20th-century South. His first book, Gruesome Looking Objects: A New History of Lynching and Everyday Things, will be published by Cambridge University Press in 2022. This work looks at the souvenirs, mementos, and relics collected and created to preserve the memory of lynchings over the course of a century. Rooted in interdisciplinary methods - material culture, ethnography, spatial and landscape studies - the book examines the lingering attachments to objects of racial violence and collective accountability for the afterlives of these fraught objects.
As a public and digital historian Gaddis has curated a variety of exhibits, built numerous online archives and projects, and run oral history initiatives. Much of his recent public history work has been through the Community Histories Workshop (CHW) which he co-founded. The CHW is a joint initiative of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Auburn University, and works in collaboration with organizations and individuals to research, gather, interpret, and preserve untold histories. In his public history work, and in his teaching, Gaddis focuses on community engagement and collaboration, and creating historical interpretation in unexpected places.
public history, cultural history, material culture, American studies, Southern studies