HS 6301. Introduction to Public History - Graduate

This course examines the historiographical and methodological underpinnings of the field and teaches strategies for meeting the challenges of presenting historical narrative and interpretation in public settings. This course introduces students to a variety of fields and contexts in which public historians work, and orient students to larger program goals that will culminate in an internship, capstone project, and professional preparation. | Fall 2018 syllabus

HS 7301. Public History Methods (Conceptualizing Capstone Project) - Graduate

This course offers an extended focus on the methods of Public History, building on the conceptual knowledge gained in the Introduction to Public History course. Students will learn strategies for and practice using techniques including, but not limited to, oral history, museums/archives, and digital publishing. Students will also learn about concepts important across public history fields including grant writing, communication and publicity, and education and accessibility. In this course, students will work toward creating a proposal for a capstone project to be completed alongside or as part of their internship. | Spring 2019 Syllabus

HS 7310. Public History in the Digital Age - Graduate

Students will learn to use digital media and computational analysis to further historical practice, presentation, analysis and research primarily for online audiences. Students will use technologies including blogs and social media, online publishing platforms, and mapping tools to create and share historical content with public audiences. | Spring 2019 Syllabus

HS 5393. The Power of the Past: Introduction to Public History - Undergraduate

This seminar has two objectives: (1) Students will learn about the various public and private institutions that interpret history for the general public. They will learn about the origins of historical organizations in the United States, their rationale, and aspects of their operations. They will also consider the relationship of these institutions with private sector Heritage Tourism. Students will visit many of these institutions in the San Antonio area. (2) Students will develop their Public History Projects. An important instructional emphasis will be on the role of technological applications in the presentation of historical material to a general audience. The course will culminate in a first complete visualization, or pilot version, of their Public History Projects.

HS 5394. Public History Practicum: Internship and Project - Undergraduate

This course is focused on completion of students’ individual public history projects, and their professionalization in the field of public history. That professionalization will focus on gaining experience at an internship, mastering new hardware and software required in the field, and prepping candidacies for jobs or grad schools. Possible tasks to be developed during the internships and supported by the course and St. Mary’s Media Resource Center include the following: editing publications and teacher resource materials, learning digital assets management systems (ex. CONTENTdm, Islandora), modeling creative exhibition layouts, researching with curators and undertaking curatorial support work (translation of audio, labels, creating derivative images with Photoshop, etc.), participating in archaeological excavations, handling fragile materials and undertaking their preservation (use of flatbed and overhead scanners), training in Qualitative Data Analysis software that facilitates global research of the “Gaia” genre, cataloging collections in parks and museums, designing interpretive programs on historical topics, designing teacher training programs that offer lesson plans based on an institution’s resources, developing community outreach (ex. traveling exhibits, blogging about sites or collections, or commemorative programming), and working with development offices to apply for grants and funding. Though not all of these skills can be honed in a single internship or course series, students should become well-acquainted with a wide range of possibilities in the field of public history and work toward developing those most relevant for their career interests.

SMC 1301. Foundations of Civilization - Undergraduate

This interdisciplinary course introduces students to the broad heritage of human learning and practice, both past and present, at the basis of a liberal arts education. Global and comparative in approach, this course provides students with a common body of basic knowledge concerning major world civilizations. The course is interdisciplinary in content, giving attention to historical development; to religious, philosophical, political, and psychological ideas; to literary achievements; and to social systems and their interactions and conflicts. The course provides students with an integrative, broadly historical, international perspective to serve as a background for understanding the contemporary world, including issues of American and global diversity.

History of San Francisco:

Gold miners & dreams of riches, hippies & drugs, the Castro & Harvey Milk – popular images of San Francisco are colorful and controversial. In this course, we’ll explore topics like these to trace San Francisco’s adventurous and provocative history. We will also use primary sources including oral history, art, film, newspaper articles, and photographs to examine the rise of a Latino community in the Mission District. As we construct a case study of the Mission, we will investigate the role of radical politics, racial identity, and art and culture in San Francisco neighborhoods. Emphasizing digital history and writing for a public audience, this course will ask students to research and write like historians, producing historical content to share online about the history of San Francisco. |  Fall 2016 syllabus

20th Century American Borderlands:

“Security is a double-edged sword: While a fence sure protects the fenced; it also imprisons the protected.” ― Mokokoma Mokhonoana. Debates about borders and borderlands in the 20th century have focused on the U.S. restrictions of the movement of people and goods through these regions.  Using novels, histories, first-hand accounts, art, film, and digital sources, we will trace the recent history, politics and culture of America’s borderlands, exploring topics like racial violence, immigration, smuggling, tourism, and cultural exchange. Not only examining the contentious US-Mexico border region, but also the US-Canada, Pacific Coast, and Native American borderlands regions, this course will explore how our nation has defined ideas of borders and belonging in the 20th century. Emphasizing digital history and writing for a public audience, this course will ask students to research and write like historians, producing historical content to share online about 20th century U.S. borderlands.

History of the American West:

Few American regions have generated as many cultural narratives, myths, and icons as the American West. Exploring conflicts and conquests alongside Western culture and the creation of the mythic West, we will examine the West through the multiple perspectives of the many peoples who have lived there. Using novels, histories, first-hand accounts, art, and film, we will trace the history and culture of the West. While discussing the evolution of the West’s regional identity, we’ll explore topics like episodes of violence and conquest, the creation of the US-Mexico border, the rise of national parks and tourism, and the West Coast’s counterculture. In this course, we will investigate how violent frontier battles and brutal discrimination became tamed and commodified to sell the West to Americans through fashion, film, and tourism. | Last Taught: Summer 2015.