Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays 2:30 pm -3:25 pm

Dr. Rebecca Wingo

This class immerses students in the field of public history by focusing on how historians conduct, present, and disseminate knowledge to audiences that extend beyond the classroom and other academic venues, like digital media, museums, archives, monuments, and shared public spaces. As such, it explores how the general public engages with history and the challenges public historians face—and the strategies they employ to meet them—when presenting historical narratives and interpretations in public settings.

Throughout the semester, students examine the historiographical and methodological underpinnings of the field. In addition, students learn to read their environments like a public historian; learn from public history practitioners; develop the writing, communication, and presentation skills for presenting their work to a public audience; engage with primary sources; collaborate with their classmates to put these skills into practice, and generally enhance their awareness of how history is presented in the world around them.

Since works of public history reflect contemporary mores, students will identify, discuss, and analyze the social, cultural, and ethical choices made in framing these works and their impact on their audiences. Students will also consider the continued role of ethical choices made by historians in selecting and curating public history projects and how their own cultural and ethical beliefs are reflected in the work they create as students of public history.