Susan Kern

Susan Kern

Director, Historic Preservation Program
Room 1245


Susan Kern studies history and how the past is used in museums, monuments, and public spaces.  She holds a masters in architectural history from University of Virginia and a Ph.D. in history from The College of William & Mary.  In between she led field research and directed the archaeology department at Monticello.  Susan was formerly director of Historic Campus at William & Mary and taught courses in history, material culture, and museum studies in the history department there. 

Her award-winning first book, The Jeffersons at Shadwell (2010), draws from related fields that use the built environment to understand human behavior.  Her book reconstructed (on paper) the material and social history of the plantation where Thomas Jefferson was born and where the largest population of enslaved people in colonial Albemarle County, Virginia, established their families.  Her current book project explores landmark preservation projects of the early twentieth century and their lasting influence on historical imagination about early America, especially as we try to understand them as sites of slavery and America's history with race. 

Ph.D. in American History
College of William & Mary
MArH Architectural History
University of Virginia
Bachelors of Arts in Liberal Studies
West Chester University