Kaci Nash

M.A.

Research

Current Projects

With Unabated Fury: The Civil War Journal of Alcander O. Morse, 1862-1864

This project was initially created during the course of a digital history research seminar at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and was later integrated into my Master's thesis. It employs various means of textual analysis and visualizations to uncover the ways in which Union soldiers interacted with and understood the South. It utilizes the journal of my third-great grandfather, a Union soldier from Illinois, as a case study to explore how wartime travel provided the means for Northerners to investigate the differences between themselves and their nation's internal "other."

O Say Can You See: Early Washington, D.C., Law & Family

With this research project, William G. Thomas III, Professor of History and department chair at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, explores the complexities of the intersections of law and slavery in early Washington, D.C., 1800-1862. Using court records and genealogical research, this project uncovers the social and familial networks that existed in both white and African-American society. The primary area of focus at this time is the large number of Petitions for Freedom filed by enslaved persons against the individuals who claimed ownership of them. In future iterations of the project, we hope to include much more of the legal record from the Circuit Court. The project was awarded funding by a National Endowment for the Humanities grant beginning in March 2014. Previous to the launch of the public site, I also maintained a private website for Dr. Thomas' book research where I transcribed, encoded, and organized over 1,100 court documents and secondary source materials, and began to experiment with ways to visually represent family and social networks.

Future Projects

The Past Among Us: A Family History and Memory Archive

My family takes its history rather seriously. As family genealogist, I follow in the footsteps of my great-grandfather, great-uncle, uncle, and father in tracing our roots across the country and into those that brought our ancestors here. Artifacts and stories from these ancestors are spread out among their descendants. I would like to collect and curate these artifacts and stories from my family tree, and utilize the Omeka publishing platform in a way that allows my family members to contribute items and memories to the collection.

Witnessing War in Experience and Memory

This project examines the physical and mental trauma inflicted upon soldiers during the Civil War and the impact of these experiences on their post-war remembrance. I intend to use my conference paper, "Union Veterans and the Fight over Civil War Memory," presented at the Great Lakes History Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan, October 9, 2010 as the basis for this research. I would like to eventually open this up into a comparative study of veterans of the Civil War and World War II.

Past Projects

"To Enter Africa from America": U.S. Empire, Race, and the African Question, 1847-1919

As project manager, I was involved in the development and creation of the project's website. Working with Associate Professor of History and Ethnic Studies, Jeannette Eileen Jones, I was tasked with implementing the interface for her web-based argument. Using a vast corpus of essays, travel narratives, treaties, and other sources, Jones examines the representations of Africa and Africans in European and American discourse during the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century imperial scramble for Africa. One of the main features of her argument includes interactive maps that track the changes in discourse over time as land and colonies shifted hands. A small-scale version of the project is currently available to the public.

Mapping the Chief Standing Bear Trail

During the course of researching the details of the forced removal of the Ponca Indians from their home along the confluence of the Niobrara and Missouri rivers for the Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs, I created a Google Map with pinpoints indicating the estimated camping sites during their three-month journey.