Kelly Arehart
PhD candidate, The College of William & Mary
Read Kelly's Posts

I am Kelly Brennan Arehart and I recently received my PhD in American history from The College of William and Mary. I have taught courses at William and Mary and Christopher Newport University over the last five years. In that time, I’ve learned the value of well-crafted syllabi, accessible and relevant assignments, interactive lectures, productive discussions, and trying to meet the educational needs of all of my students.

My dissertation, “Men of Sorrow, Markets of Grief: A History of the American Funeral Industry, 1780-1920,” examines how changes in culture, technology, medicine, and business practices transformed the American funeral from a small, community-oriented affair into the engine of a multi-billion dollar industry. I bring my interdisciplinary approach into the classroom, encouraging students to make connections between events and circumstances that initially seem unrelated. The nature of my research has also informed my use of primary sources – I do not shy away from using unusual, controversial, or “outrageous” sources in my classroom.

I’ve also worked for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in a variety of capacities over the last nine years. Training primary and secondary education teachers showed me how to teach students with different learning styles. I work hard to develop activities and assignments that engage visual, auditory, and kinetic/tactile learners. As a professional story teller for the Foundation, I’ve developed methods to deliver interesting, lively lectures in the classroom.

I am a contributor to The American Yawp, a free and online American history textbook (americanyawp.com) Fetch the Undertaker is a blog and twitter account where I share unusual and humorous primary sources from my research (http://fetch-the-undertaker.tumblr.com/) (@FetchUnder). I hope to bring my unorthodox assignments, syllabi, and presentation methods to TUSH.

I am Kelly Brennan Arehart and I recently received my PhD in American history from The College of William and Mary. I have taught courses at William and Mary and Christopher Newport University over the last five years. In that time, I’ve learned the value of well-crafted syllabi, accessible and relevant assignments, interactive lectures, productive discussions, and trying to meet the educational needs of all of my students.

My dissertation, “Men of Sorrow, Markets of Grief: A History of the American Funeral Industry, 1780-1920,” examines how changes in culture, technology, medicine, and business practices transformed the American funeral from a small, community-oriented affair into the engine of a multi-billion dollar industry. I bring my interdisciplinary approach into the classroom, encouraging students to make connections between events and circumstances that initially seem unrelated. The nature of my research has also informed my use of primary sources – I do not shy away from using unusual, controversial, or “outrageous” sources in my classroom.

I’ve also worked for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in a variety of capacities over the last nine years. Training primary and secondary education teachers showed me how to teach students with different learning styles. I work hard to develop activities and assignments that engage visual, auditory, and kinetic/tactile learners. As a professional story teller for the Foundation, I’ve developed methods to deliver interesting, lively lectures in the classroom.

I am a contributor to The American Yawp, a free and online American history textbook (americanyawp.com) Fetch the Undertaker is a blog and twitter account where I share unusual and humorous primary sources from my research (http://fetch-the-undertaker.tumblr.com/) (@FetchUnder). I hope to bring my unorthodox assignments, syllabi, and presentation methods to TUSH.