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Jinny Turman is an Assistant Professor of History with a focus on community history and preservation. She completed her Ph.D. in history in May 2013 at West Virginia University. Dr. Turman's interests are in modern U.S., social, cultural, and public history. She specializes in oral history and local historical research and teaches courses on community history and historic preservation, museums and archives, oral history, and historic interpretation. Oral history was a major component of her dissertation, titled "Appalachian Alter-Natives: The Back-to-the-Land Migration and Community Change, 1970-2000."
Dr. Turman has an interdisciplinary background that fed her interest in applied and local history. She received her Bachelor of Art and Design degree from North Carolina State University with a concentration in fiber and surface design. Her interest in textiles, and specifically the art of handweaving, drew her into the master's program in Appalachian Studies at Appalachian State University. It was there that her passion for community-based research was ignited. For several years after receiving her MA, Dr. Turman worked for various cultural institutions in Appalachia, including the Blue Ridge Institute and Museum at Ferrum College, the Southern Highland Craft Guild, the Caldwell County Arts Council, the Mountain Gateway Museum, and the Hiddenite Center. After her arrival at West Virginia University, she worked with both local and national historical institutions, including Arthurdale, the first New Deal resettlement community, and the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. She now serves on state and local committees dedicated to historic preservation and public history, including the Board of Directors for the Nebraska State Historic Preservation Office and the Kearney Archway.