Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Jennifer A. Adler

Committee Members

Tom Lee, Constanze Weise


The preservation needs and historical significance located within West Lawn Cemetery in Johnson City, Tennessee, a historically African American Cemetery, show the potential cemeteries have as an impactful public history site. Similar to sites like historic houses, museums, and battlefields; cemeteries offer another insight into the past through interpretation and preservation. A cemetery's ethical and practical uses as a public history site can pose complex challenges. This thesis aims to provide a compelling argument for cemeteries as repositories of irreplaceable history, providing a space for their spot in the field of public history. Although little scholarly literature is given on this concept, this research provides information on the unique landscape and window into history cemeteries hold. Furthermore, this thesis aims to provide a practical guide to navigating the complexities of historical discourse and interpretation within cemeteries.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the author.