Since its inception in 2007, the Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization (AHI) has used its headquarters as a place for scholars passing through the region or who intend to spend time researching in any number of the prominent archives and repositories in upstate New York.
Carol Medlicott, Associate Professor in the Department of History and Geography at Northern Kentucky University, visited the AHI in February 2012 and used it as a place to conduct research on the Shakers, a communal religious sect that spread from England to the United States in the second half of the eighteenth century. Professor Medlicott’s research focuses on the Shakers’ expansion to the “west”—into Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana territory— from1805 to 1835. She has published widely on various aspects of early Shaker culture, including cartography, hymnody, and early missionary initiatives. She recently completed a biographical study of Issachar Bates, a prominent early Shaker preacher and traveler. Her investigations took her, in particular, to the Communal Studies collections in the Burke Library of Hamilton College to find evidence on the relations between Shakers and Indians in early Shaker history and how early Shaker-Indian interactions informed later Shaker visions of “native spirits.”
Professor Medlicott, previously worked for the FBI as an analyst on North Korea. She had published on that subject as well. AHI Resident Fellow Chris Hill seized the opportunity and organized a special event in which Professor Medlicott spoke to students and faculty at the AHI on “The Narrative of North Korea.” Her talk offered insights on both the cult of personality that surrounds the Kim family dynasty and the politics that recently elevated Kim Jong-un to the position of Supreme Leader after the death of Kim Jong-il. As an added bonus, Professor Medlicott spoke with students about the rich opportunities available to graduating seniors interested in a career with the FBI.
“I had a wonderful month–very productive and enjoyable,” wrote Professor Medlicott. “Interacting with all of you at the AHI enhanced the experience immeasurably. And thanks for the opportunity to address the group on North Korea. That was truly a highlight.”