HISTORY 294 - Public History
Fall 2023, Section 001 - An Introduction
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:
Start/End Date:
Full Term 8/28/23 - 12/6/23 (see other Sections below)
NOTE: Drop/Add deadlines are dependent on the class meeting dates and will differ for full term versus partial term offerings.
For information on drop/add deadlines, see the Office of the Registrar and search Registration Deadlines.


What happens when history goes public? 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?

We will grapple with these issues as a group, discussing readings, critiquing public history installations, and visiting nearby museums. We'll also create a public history project of our own. 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. All course content, including assignments, readings, class agendas, and weekly plans, will be available on Canvas.

Course Requirements:

Participation in classroom discussions; one reading presentation; deliverables for class project; final reflection paper

Intended Audience:

All undergraduates from all majors are welcome

Class Format:



HISTORY 294 - Public History
Schedule Listing
001 (REC)
 In Person
TuTh 11:30AM - 1:00PM
8/28/23 - 12/6/23

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.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for HISTORY 294 (UM login required)

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CourseProfile (Atlas)

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CourseProfile (Atlas)