Course Details

01:506:301 Public History: Theory, Method, and Practice

  • Academic Credits: 3
  • Mode of Instruction: Lecture
  • Syllabus: Spring 2020

    Syllabus Disclaimer:  The information on this syllabus is subject to change. For up-to-date course information, please refer to the syllabus on your course site (Sakai, Canvas, etc.) on the first day of class.

  • Course Description

    An experiential learning course introducing students to the myriad fields in which historians work, as well as the questions and methods that guide their engagement with history in public life. Utilizing place-based and object-based epistemology, this course explores questions like: How do we know what we know about history? How do the histories that we learn in the classroom differ from those we learn on the street, in the museum, and in government documents? How do public historians grapple with the Confederate monument debate? Why do we preserve historic buildings? How does one explain the history of the women’s suffrage movement in a 100-word statement on a plaque in a town square in a way that could be understood by an eight year old? Does the public consume historical information differently than scholars and students? Who controls the narratives of our histories, and what does that mean for who is and is not included in our retellings of the past? How should we account for power and absences in history? This course includes site visits, hands-on exhibit curation opportunities, and chances to engage with local community history.