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Downton Abbey may be over, but interest in the relationships between domestic servants and their employers lives on. Incorporating domestic servants into tours and programs continues to be an engaging way to provide a more inclusive and nuanced interpretation of the past. This Historic House Call will highlight primary source materials that can be applied broadly to the interpretation of domestic service and examples of successful tours and programs. Participants are encouraged to bring questions and examples to share.

About the Presenter:

Jennifer Pustz is an independent public historian with twenty years of experience in historic site interpretation. As the historian at Brucemore, a National Trust Historic Site in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and the museum historian for Historic New England, she researched and presented social history research related to the domestic experience. Jennifer earned a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Iowa and is the author of Voices from the Back Stairs: Interpreting Servants’ Lives at Historic House Museums (Northern Illinois University Press, 2010). She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Royall House and Slave Quarters in Medford, Massachusetts, and is pursuing a Master of Science in Nutrition and Master of Public Health at the Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Policy and School of Medicine. Jennifer plans to remain active in public history as she seeks a second career in her other passion, public health.

Historic House Calls are online discussions featuring hot topics for historic house museums. Led by experts in the field, and organized by members of AASLH Historic House Affinity Group Committee, they encourage attendees to join in the discussion.


Recorded November 17, 2016