By Tori Lohmann
Dr. Jeffrey Smith, Senior Professor of History at Lindenwood, has had two recent successes in the publication world. His article “Death and Dying at the Founding of Missouri,” in which he explores the changes of burial services during the 1820s and 30s in the rapidly growing city of St. Louis, was published in the Saint Louis Genealogical Society Quarterly, an organization that was founded in 1968. The Quarterly reached out to Dr. Smith to put together a piece about the local history of burials which is how his article came to be published.
Dr. Smith was also recently published in the Ohio Valley History journal, a peer-reviewed journal that features mainly historical reviews and essays. While researching rural cemeteries and fundamental views about burial grounds during a fellowship at the Filson Historical Society, Dr. Smith wrote his article “The Rural Cemetery Movement” after being asked by the society to write a piece for the journal .
“[The articles] accomplish two very different things, and I think they speak to two different kinds of writing and obligations,” Dr. Smith says while reflecting on what it was like to get these two articles published around the same time. Though these articles reach different audiences, they both preserve a part of history and the lives of those before us – two things the Lindenwood community values. As a historic and longstanding university, it is important to be reminded of the history that surrounds us and has made us who we are today, and that is exactly what Dr. Smith’s publications have accomplished.
Dr. Smith also notes that our community at Lindenwood is a main factor in why he enjoys being published. “I like the notion of reaching a broader audience, and that it is a way for us to be a part of our community,” he states. He enjoys representing our university and community to broader audience – and he does it well by producing high-quality work that thoroughly depicts parts of our history.
Dr. Smith’s passion for death and burial grounds is either “cool or creepy,” as he says, depending on who you ask, but it is clear his passion has made him a successful writer that Lindenwood is proud to have representing the university to our community, as he brilliantly depicts the history around us in both of his publications.
Congratulations, Dr. Jeffrey Smith!
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