HISTORY 294 - Explorations in History
Fall 2021, Section 001 - The Practice of Public History
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: History (HISTORY)
Department: LSA History
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Waitlist Capacity:
May be elected four times for credit. May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:


This course will introduce students to the practice of public history—how history is put to work in the world. We’ll consider museum exhibits, walking tours, historic houses, monuments, oral history, crowdsourcing, podcasting, robotic presidents, and more. We’ll learn how public historians work with a variety of audiences to present difficult or contested pasts, like the 1967 Detroit uprising or antebellum plantation homes. We’ll consider how public history can be used to subvert or reinforce colonialism and empire—and how it can be used to promote social justice.

What, if anything, is compromised and lost in this process? How do factors like design, venue, and writing style affect how history is consumed? How can historians share authority and develop true collaborations with communities?

Using case studies, we will grapple with these issues as a group. Students will walk away with a basic understanding of public history and knowledge of what direction they might take if they wish to pursue a career in the field.

Course Requirements:

When meeting in person, this course will convene weekly for a two-hour session, including a short lecture, discussion, and collaborative work/student presentations. When presented online, the course will convene for a shorter synchronous session focusing on discussion and collaborative work/student presentations. All course content, including assignments, readings, class agendas, and weekly plans, will be available on Canvas. "Student performance will be assessed by participation (25%), short reviews of public history projects (25%), in-class collaborative exercises (synchronous; 25%), and the final project (25%)."

Intended Audience:

Open to all students.

Class Format:

Instruction is a mixture of in-person and remote and a mixture of synchronous and asynchronous. Enrolled students are expected to be available remotely during scheduled class times. Course is open to remote-only students.


HISTORY 294 - Explorations in History
Schedule Listing
001 (REC)
 In Person
Tu 1:00PM - 3:00PM

Textbooks/Other Materials

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Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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CourseProfile (Atlas)

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CourseProfile (Atlas)