About Iris Leigh Barnes, PhD
Dr. Barnes is an experienced and award-winning historian, educator, and museum professional. She has more than twenty years of experience as an educator and in the museum field. Her scholarship interests range from Civil War to Civil Rights with a particular focus on the tenacity and resilience of African Americans who survived and thrived against the odds. She reflects, "I am particularly engaged with the current trend to reveal the voices of people of color in new interpretations of mainstream
narratives. This approach towards a more inclusive
American history discourse demonstrates the agency and humanity of an extraordinary group of people."
Within the museum field, her skills of historical research and writing; graphic design; exhibition design and development; and video game animation and design converge in creative ways. She looks forward to a longterm marriage of these skills in the emerging genre of digital humanities--using the latest technologies to interpret old stories with new life and greater engagement.
She is an educator who understands that teaching is about more than facts. "I think it is important to provide experiential learning opportunities for students of all ages. I specialize in teaching and mentoring my students within the context of
hands-on, innovative cross-generational and interdisciplinary projects that result in
resume-building professional skills."
Photo Courtesy of Mike Dixon.
Dr. Barnes leads the "Gather at the Banks" culminating ceremony of the award-winning "Faces of Freedom" initiative, a collaborative series of pubic programs commemorating the Maryland Constitution of 1864, which ended slavery in the state. The Community was engaged with a gathering at the edge of the Susquehanna River honoring the ancestors who crossed there on the Underground Railroad.