Lara L. Kelland

Assistant Professor


Lara Kelland is an Assistant Professor of US and Public History and Comparative Humanities at the University of Louisville, where she also directs the Public History graduate concentration and certificate. Her book, Clio’s Foot Soldiers: Twentieth-Century US Social Movements and the Uses of Collective Memory  (University of Massachusetts Press, 2018) traces the use of history in 20th century social movements, including Civil Rights, Black Power, Women’s Liberation, Gay Liberation, and American Indian Movements. In it, she argues that grassroots activists helped shape the field of public history and the democratic practices embraced by many cultural organizations. She teaches courses on public history, oral history, digital history, historical methods, and the history of gender and sexuality in the U.S.

Prior to coming to Louisville, she worked with on public history projects in various community-based and cultural organizations. She believes mightily in the power of history to shape and nurture community. Since she has been in Louisville, she directed a three-year project documenting and interpreting the history of the Parkland neighborhood in West Louisville. She is also the curator for the upcoming exhibit and digital map on the Kentucky civil rights movement at Kentucky Center for African American Heritage. Her new research project is engaging oppositional collective memory and heritage tourism in Puerto Rico.