Public History Courses


HIST 597/697: Introduction to Public History

Introductory survey of the field of public history for graduate students and advanced undergraduates.  Examines major areas of practice, the intellectual origins of the field, and the relationship between public history and the American historical profession.  Offered every fall semester.

HIST 612: Digital History

Overview of methods and theory used in engaging historical scholarship and interpretation in digital environments with an emphasis on public history projects.  Students use a wide variety of digital tools to engage conversations in the field and research and create interpretive projects.

HIST 599/607: Oral History

Introduces methods and theory of oral history.  Explains what oral history is, how to conduct oral history interviews, how to analyze and interpret them, and to use them in a variety of settings.

HIST 608: Public History Practicum

Students will enroll in HIST 608 in the first Spring semester after their first internship or while completing it.  This course introduces students to careers in history and professional skills associated with acquiring and performing public history work.

HIST 618: Public History Practicum II

Public History majors completing their second internship will enroll in HIST 618.


*Electives vary year to year based on community partnerships, available projects, and faculty interest and availability.

Critical and Curatorial Studies - I
An introduction to curatorial practice of the last 30 years. Focusing on the curator's increasingly prominent role in the reception and synthesis of contemporary art, the course explores developments in exhibition design in terms of art production, international exchange, globalization, and critical theory.

Critical and Curatorial Studies - II
This seminar is structured as a curatorial practicum. Students work with the professor to develop and produce an exhibition from the university's print collection. Throughout the semester, weekly readings and presentations focus on contemporary exhibition practice as well as on the theoretical and critical concerns undergirding the student's developing exhibition.

Financial Management of Nonprofits
Examines accounting and financial management for managers of not-for-profit organizations.

Grantsmanship and Fundraising
A critical examination of methods and tools for developing grant proposals and raising funds for organizations.

Historic Site Administration
Examines management and administration of historic sites and history museums.  Topics considered include interpretive planning and programming, collections development, board relations, and fundraising. Offered intermittently depending on instructor availability.

Introduction to Archives
Introductory survey of archival theory and practice.  Examines archival principles and their practical application through assigned readings, classroom instruction, and hands-on work.  Topics considered include manuscript collections, institutional records, preparing archival materials for research use, technology, and archival ethics. Offered intermittently depending on instructor availability.

Introduction to Public Humanities
Introductory course in Public Humanities critically exploring notions of the individual, freedom, community, and public engagement.

The Museum
This course introduces students to the purpose and inner-workings of museums in American society. Topics covered include: theories about museums; historical precedents and antecedents; and the organization and structure of museums. Offered intermittently depending on instructor availability.

Museums and Culture
The ways in which the history and culture of African Americans and others have been depicted in the museums, expositions and "world fairs" of the United States.

Nonprofit Management
Management of nonprofit organizations is a graduate seminar in the Masters of Public Administration program. Its purpose is to apply management theories and concepts to nonprofit organizations. As such, the emphasis of this seminar will be relating how nonprofits are managed in a time of scarce resources. Furthermore, students will understand challenges faced by managers as they seek to meet mission objectives, attract public and private support, work with and motivate volunteers, collaborate with other sectors, and meet the challenges of meeting performance objectives.

Teaching History with Museums
This course is for advanced education students and those in the public history program; it explores the educational role of history museums and implications for both teachers and museum educators. Normally offered SUMMER ONLY.