Department of History

  • Portrait (head shot photo)
  • Kristin O’Brassill-Kulfan
  • Assistant Teaching Professor & Coordinator of Public History
  • Degree: Ph.D., History, University of Leicester
  • Specialty: Nineteenth-Century US: Social History; Public History
  • Email:
  • Office: 213C Van Dyck Hall
  • Phone: 848-932-8226



 Public History Program


Kristin O’Brassill-Kulfan is a public historian and scholar of early American social history. She coordinates the History Department's Public History Program, including the Certificate in Public History and Public History Internship, and is also an Associate Graduate Faculty Member in the Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies Program. She holds a PhD in History from the University of Leicester and an MA in Modern History from Queens University Belfast, and researches poverty, labor, mobility, crime and punishment in the early American northeast, as well as public historical and commemorative representations of these subjects. O'Brassill-Kulfan is the author of Vagrants and Vagabonds: Poverty and Mobility in the Early American Republic (New York University Press, 2019). She has previously worked as an archivist and research analyst for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Archives, and with museums, archives, and libraries in the US and the UK curating exhibits, managing archival collections, and creating inclusive public programming. She regularly consults on public history projects in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.



  • Lead Scholar, Community History Program, New Jersey Council for the Humanities 
  • Research Analyst and Archivist, Pennsylvania House of Representatives Archives 
  • Member, New Jersey Historical Commission’s Advisory Council on New Jersey's United States Semiquincentennial Initiative, Revolution NJ 
  • Contributing Member/University Partner, Humanities Action Lab
  • Co-organizer (with Donna Gustafson), New Jersey Stories: New Perspectives on American Paintings in the Zimmerli Art Museum Public History Project
  • Curator & supervisor of student curators, “Climate Justice is Worker Justice in New Brunswick, NJ,” in Humanities Action Lab traveling exhibit, Climates of Inequality: Stories of Environmental Justice
  • Consultant, organizer, & supervisor of student docents, Historical Walking Tours, Scarlet & Black Project, Rutgers University
  • Co-organizer and Planning Committee Member, Telling Untold Histories Unconference
  • Exhibitions Research Consultant, Department of Human History, National Museums of Northern Ireland
  • Public Programs Coordinator, Ephrata Public Library
  • Project Archivist, Center for Pennsylvania German Studies, Millersville University of Pennsylvania
  • Project Archivist, Historical Society of the Cocalico Valley
  • Project Archivist, Pennsylvania Folklife Society Collection, Ursinus College


  • Public History: Theory, Method, and Practice
  • Public History Internship
  • New Jersey History
  • Revising Rutgers: Architecture, History, & Preservation on Campus (co-taught with Prof. Carla Yanni, Art History)
  • History of Homelessness: Unhoused Populations in US History


  • “The Way Forward” Multi-Institutional Innovation Grant co-awardee, Bringing Theory to Practice, Elon University, 2021
  • Award of Recognition for Significant Contributions to State History, New Jersey Historical Commission, 2020
  • Larry J. Hackman Research Award, New York State Archives, 2020-2021
  • Faculty Fellow, Center for Cultural Analysis, Rutgers University, 2019-2020
  • Humanities Innovation Block Grant, School of Graduate Studies, Rutgers University, 2018-2019
  • Society for Historians of the Early American Republic Fellowship, Library Company of Philadelphia and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 2017-2018
  • Digital Humanities Initiative Seed Grant, Rutgers University, 2017-2018
  • Prindle Institute Fellow, Prindle Institute for Ethics Seminar on Ethics and Epistemology in the Archives, Depauw University, 2016
  • Lord Baltimore Fellowship, Maryland Historical Society, 2015-2016
  • College of Arts, Humanities, and Law Research Grant, University of Leicester, 2015
  • Peter Parish Memorial Award, Association of British American Nineteenth Century Historians, 2014


  • Editor, Global Perspectives on Public History Series, Routledge
  • Member, Editorial Board, Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies
  • Member, Editorial Board, New Jersey Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal
  • Member, Editorial Board, Pennsylvania Historical Association History Series, Temple University Press
  • Affiliate Editor, History@Work, National Council on Public History

General Inquiries

Live Chat Hours

  • Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
  • 9:00am-12:30pm
  • 1:30pm-4:00pm



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