US Cultural & Intellectual History

Normal Way. Seriously.

Outside Peck Hall on the MTSU campus

Normal Way outside of Peck Hall

There's actually a good explanation: MTSU was founded in 1911 as a normal school. Normal schools were established to train teachers. 

My name is Susan Myers-Shirk and I’m a faculty member in the Department of History at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, TN. This website is a work in progress, as you’ll see when you visit some of the other pages, but I hope eventually it will serve as a information clearinghouse for anyone interested in US cultural & intellectual history.



MTSU is one of the fastest growing universities in the state and is located 35 miles south of Nashville, TN in one of the fastest growing counties in the country. Some days it feels pretty crowded here--good luck finding a parking space on campus--so I like to visit wide open spaces. Many of the photos you’ll find are from trips to national and state parks and wild areas. For really good photographs, visit my husband’s website. He’s a professional nature photographer.