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Megan Scallan Melvin


Combining over a decade of museum experience with academic interests, my dissertation examines how nineteenth-century Americans created grassroots versions of nationalism that expressed belonging and participation through the allegory Columbia. They showed loyalty to the “nation” through the consumption, creation, and use of everyday objects depicting Columbia. By focusing on Columbian objects and locating them in a larger political, cultural, and economic context, the project demonstrates how Columbia provided the diverse, scattered population a powerful means of national unity. Recent presentations include the American Historical Association Annual Meeting and the Bayerische Amerika-Akademie in Nuremberg, Germany.