the Center for Historic Preservation
Middle Tennessee State University
|Read posts by Dr. West at Southern Rambles.|
Carroll Van West is the Director of the Center for Historic Preservation at Middle Tennessee State University. His role at the Center brings the responsibilities of directing the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area, serving as the Editor-in-Chief of The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture, and serving as director of the CHP’s Teaching with Primary Sources Across Tennessee, a program of the Library of Congress. West has been at the Center for Historic Preservation since 1985. As a professor in MTSU’s history department, West teaches courses in historic preservation, American architectural history, American material culture studies, and state and local history. He has directed to completion over 100 M.A. theses and 30 doctoral dissertations of MTSU graduate students, who work at universities, agencies, and history institutions across the nation. His preservation focus is on properties associated with the Civil Rights Movement, the Civil War, rural areas, marginalized communities, and the southern music industries. His most recent National Register nominations include RCA Studio A in Nashville and FAME Studio (co-authored) in Muscle Shoals, AL, and the King Studios (co-authored) in Cincinnati, OH.
Since 2012 West has served as the University of Virginia Visiting Scholar of the Summer Institute at the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts at Old Salem, NC. In 2013 Governor Bill Haslam appointed West as the Tennessee State Historian, a position he continues under current Governor Bill Lee.
West has published in both western and southern history, architecture, material culture, and historic preservation. His recent book is Nashville Architecture: A Guide to the City (University of Tennessee Press, 2015). Other books include A History of the Arts in Tennessee (University of Tennessee Press, 2004); Trial and Triumph: Readings in Tennessee’s African-American Past (Tennessee, 2002); Tennessee’s New Deal Landscape (Tennessee, 2001), the first such statewide book to focus on the many New Deal-era structures, buildings, and parks; the edited anthology Tennessee History: The Land, The People, and The Culture (Tennessee, 1998); and The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture (Tennessee Historical Society, 1998). His initial university press books addressed community development and landscapes. Capitalism on the Frontier: The Transformation of Billings and the Yellowstone Valley in the 19th Century was published by the University of Nebraska Press in 1993; and Tennessee’s Historic Landscapes was published by the University of Tennessee Press in 1995.
West also created a blog to discuss the changes in Montana’s historic landscape over the last thirty years, part of an ongoing partnership with the state historic preservation office and the Montana Preservation Alliance. Its address is www.montanahistoriclandscape.com. A digital history project that he launched, titled Trials, Triumphs, and Transformations, recently received the 2018 Honorable Mention for digital humanities projects from the American Studies Association. Its address is www.dsi.mtsu.edu.
Books Authored by Carroll Van West:
Books with Contributions by Carroll Van West:
The Rocky Mountain Region: The Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Regional Cultures
Greenwood Press, 2005
“We Shall Independent Be”: African American Place Making and the Struggle to Claim Space in the United States
University Press of Colorado, 2008
Books edited by Carroll Van West:
University of Tennessee Press, 2002 • The first such textbook on Tennessee’s African American history in over 20 years
Tennessee Historical Society
• Tennessee Historical Society 1998 Co-winner of the Tennessee History Book Award
• Recipient of AASLH Award of Merit in 1999
University of Tennessee Press, 1998