b>This introduction to Public History will examine the historiographical and methodological underpinnings of the field and teach strategies for meeting the challenges of presenting historical narrative and interpretation in public settings. This course will introduce 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. This class will immerse students in the field of public history -- in its methods and its debates. Students will engage in group and individual projects to gain experience in the diverse branches of this field.
What is Public History? Public history engages the general public with history in real world settings. It refers to how history is presented and interpreted outside the classroom or academic environment. It involves historical content, interpretation, and use of secondary and primary sources, but also includes tools and strategies for public presentation that enhance popular awareness of the historical past and the world around them. Public history institutions depend upon collaborative relationships between historians and community leaders, activists, and anyone interested in stimulating historical awareness within society. By making explicit links between the past and the present, public history activities promote tourism, economic development, and a general sense of community wellbeing inspired by a shared the past.
Upon the successful completion of this course, you will be able to:
|Date||Topics||Read & Prepare for Class||Assignments Due|
|Week 1: Th 1/10||Defining Public History||
READ Yohann Koshy, "Hey, that's our stuff: Maasai tribespeople tackle Oxford's Pitt Rivers Museum," The Guardian, 2018.
DO Complete Interactive Syllabus
|Week 2: T 1/15||Defining Public History||READ Lyon, et al, Introduction to Public History, Chapter 1 (p. 1-14)
QN Quote Notes 2A
|Th 1/17||Defining Public History||READ Robert Weible, “Defining Public History: Is it Possible? Is it Necessary?,” Perspectives on History, March 1, 2008.
QN Quote Notes 2B
|Week 3: T 1/22||Interpreting the Past||READ Lyon, et al, Introduction to Public History, Chapter 3 (p. 33-55)
QN Quote Notes 3A
|Th 1/24||Historic Landmarks & Historic Preservation||READ Richard R. Flores, "The Alamo: Myth, Public History, and the Politics of Inclusion," Radical History Review 77 (2000), 91-103. (PDF on canvas)
QN Quote Notes 3B
|Public History in the Wild #1|
|Week 4: T 1/29||St. Mary's University Collaborative Project
Meet in classroom. Be prepared to walk outside!
Guest speakers: St. Mary's faculty
|READ Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History, Community Issue Exhibition Toolkit. 2018.
QN Quote Notes 4A
|Th 1/31||READ Lyon, et al, Introduction to Public History, Chapter 4 (p. 57-74, 76-78 "Community Collections")
QN Quote Notes 4B
|Week 5: T 2/5||READ Susan Yee, “The Archive,” in Evocative Objects: Things We Think With, edited by Sherry Turkle (MIT Press, 2011), 31-36. (PDF on Canvas)
QN Quote Notes 5A
|Th 2/7||Archives Workday - Meet at Marianist Archives||READ None - start reading for next week||Public History in the Wild #2|
|Week 6: T 2/12||Museums||READ Amy Lonetree, “Collaboration Matters: The Minnesota Historical Society, the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, and the Creation of a ‘Hybrid Tribal Museum,” in Decolonizing Museums: Representing Native Americans in National and Tribal Museums (University of North Carolina Press, 2012), 29-72. (PDF on Canvas)
QN Quote Notes 6A
||READ Patty Limerick, “Prodding a Historic Friend to Do Better,” The Denver Post, July 13, 2018.
QN Quote Notes 6B
|Archive Item Analysis|
|Week 7: T 2/19||Interpreting & Exhibiting History||READ Lyon, et al, Introduction to Public History, Chapter 5 (p. 83-111)
QN Quote Notes 7A
|Th 2/21||Interpreting & Exhibiting History||READ Beverly Serrell, Exhibit Labels: An Interpretive Approach, Introduction, Chapters 1-2 (1-29) (PDF on Canvas)
QN Quote Notes 7B
|SUNDAY 2/24||FIELD TRIP - CACNELLED FOR NOW!|
|Week 8: T 2/26||History Harvest Planning||READ Rebecca S. Wingo and Amy C. Sullivan, "Remembering Rondo: An Inside View of a History Harvest," (2017)
READ Rebecca S. Wingo, History Harvest Resources - Read 1) History Harvest Metadata Cheatsheet, 2) Sample Metadata Google Form, 3) Participant Release Form, 4) Artifact Form, 5) Sample Interview Questions, 6) History Harvest Supply Guide, 7) File Naming Conventions, and 8) Sample Save-The-Date Cards
QN Quote Notes 8A
|Th 2/28||No Class - Wieck out of town||Public History in the Wild #3|
|Week 9: T 3/5||Oral History||READ The Oral History Manual, chapters 6 and 7. (pdf on canvas)
QN Quote Notes 9A
|Deadline to complete Presentation 1|
|Th 3/7||American Memory and Monuments||WATCH Mitch Landrieu, “Address on Removal of Four Confederate Statues,” May 19, 2017 (OR read transcript of this speech from The New York Times)
DISCOVER Find an article about the controversy of Confederate Memorials on your own. The most recent current event is the takedown of Silent Sam at UNC. Answer: What is the position of the article you chose about Silent Sam? What is the role of public history / public historians in the monument debate?"
|History Harvest Plan|
|Week 10: T 3/12 and Th 3/14||SPRING BREAK - NO CLASS - Enjoy!!|
|Week 11: T 3/19||History Harvest Planning & Logistics||DO History Harvest Prep|
|Th 3/21||HISTORY HARVEST||HISTORY HARVEST DAY!!!|
|Week 12: T 3/26||STRIVE Resume Workshop||DO Continue work on processing History Harvest Materials
DO Bring copy of resume to class
|Th 3/28||WIECK GONE - Process History Harvest Materials||DO Process History Harvest Materials||Public History in the Wild #4|
|Week 13: T 4/2||Digital Public History||READ Andrew Hurley, “Chasing the Frontiers of Digital Technology: Public History Meets the Digital Divide,” The Public Historian 38, no. 1 (February 2016): 69-88.
QN Quote Notes 13A
|Th 4/4||Digital Public History and Social Media||READ Jeff Robinson, “Thinking like a community: Beyond shared authority,” History@Work, June 15, 2012.
QNQuote Notes 13B
|Processed Materials Due|
|Week 14: T 4/9||Engaging Audiences||READ Lyon, et al, Introduction to Public History, Chapter 6 (p. 113-137) + Part of Chapter 7 (Assigned in Class)
QN Quote Notes 14A
|Th 4/11||Bring Draft 1 to class with you.||Draft 1 of Exhibit Text & Artifact|
|Week 15: T 4/16||Shared Authority||READ Nina Simon, “Participatory Design and the Future of Museums,” in Letting Go?: Sharing Historical Authority in a User-Generated World, edited by Bill Adair, et al, (The Pew Center for Arts & Humanities, 2011), 18-33. (PDF on canvas)
READ Kathleen McLean, “Whose Questions, Whose Conversations?,” in Letting Go?: Sharing Historical Authority in a User-Generated World, edited by Bill Adair, et al, (The Pew Center for Arts & Humanities, 2011), 70-79." (PDF on canvas)
QN Quote Notes 15A
|Th 4/18||Easter Break - No class||Exhibit Draft 2 + Digital Draft 1|
|Week 16: T 4/23||Career Panel:
||READ Lyon, et al, Introduction to Public History, Chapter 8 (p. 163-172)
QN Quote Notes 16A
|Resume draft due|
|Th 4/25||Exhibit Design Logistics & Peer Review||DO Bring Drafts with You for Review||Public History in the Wild #5 - Optional|
|Week 17: T 4/30||Exhibit Design Logistics & Peer Review||DO Bring Drafts with You for Review||Exhibit Final + Digital Draft 2|
|Th 5/1||Start of Reading Days - No Class||Final Projects Due|
|Week 18 - TBA - during Exam Time||LAUNCH PARTY & PRESENTATIONS|
|Component (click on labels for assignment overviews)||Points per assignment||Number of Assignments||Total|
|Quote Notes This assignment helps you develop note-taking skills to better comprehend class readings, to help jog your memory in class discussions, to find quotable quotes to cite and reference in class and your writing, and to connect class readings to your own experiences and ideas. Each quote note assignment will be completed on a template provided by the instructor, and may also include at-home and in-class writing assignments completed on the back of the page. Quote note assignments must be submitted in class, and cannot be submitted if you missed class (except in the case of excused absences). (18 available)||5||15||75|
|Presentations Twice this semester, you will present to the class on current events & issues in public history. The first presentation will be 2-3 minutes and utilize 1 source (15 pts). The second presentation will be 5-6 minutes and use at least 3 sources (30 pts). You will also create a short blog post to accompany your presentation. This assignment will help you concisely community ideas both verbally and in writing, while helping you gain familiarity about the larger public history field. Each student will sign up for 2 presentation dates and list their topic and sources in a shared google document to ensure everyone presents on unique topics.||15 & 30||2||45|
|Public History in the Wild This assignment will document public history artifacts / exhibitions / interpretations / methods that you encounter in your daily life. You will use our WordPress blogging platform to upload a photograph of your “wild” public history moment and include a brief description of its significance. This assignment will help you practice writing for a public audience, practice writing concisely in preparation of your exhibit and label text, learn to read your environment like a public historian, and familiarize yourself with local history. (5 available)||20||4||80|
|Final Project & Drafts Throughout the semester, we will work on a project on place-based storytelling on the StMU campus. While we will work to create stories to be placed on physical markers and work together to create a digital tour of campus, each student will complete components of this assignment, collecting oral histories, working with archival objects, and creating exhibit text. This project will help you work with public history methods and skills, while also refining your writing and presentation skills. Project components will be due throughout the semester, adding up to 275 points.||varies||multiple||275|
|Other Interactive survey (10 points) and a resume (15 points). There may be additional opportunities to earn extra points.||10 & 15||2||25|
|Attendance Penalty Attendance and participation in this course are key. If a student misses more than four classes, there will be a -10pt penalty/missed class (beyond the first four classes missed). Missing even four classes may impact your engagement in this class.|