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Public History Courses



2011-2012 Students






Joint Program






Core Courses and Requirements

All entering public history Ph.D. students will complete the core of courses and requirements at follows:

  • at least six quarters of research seminars, two of which may be fulfilled by research seminars completed in M.A. studies
  • the History 292 A-B-C series (Foundations of U.S. History to 1846; 1846-1917; 1917-present); (unless your research focus is not U.S. History in which case you should discuss this requirements with the program director and your adviser
  • History 206 (History and Theory: Public History),
  • History 207 (Historical Methods)
  • a public history internship involving research and a report, which may be fulfilled by an internship completed in M.A. studies
  • a graduate course in each of the four examination fields
  • pass examinations in four fields chosen as follows:

o a general field (usually the broader field in which your dissertation topic is located)

o a specialized field within public history

o a third field encompassing the dissertation topic

o a cognate field (which can be outside the department e.g. art history, anthropology, political science)

The first three of these field examinations will be written and oral; the fourth will be covered by oral examination only. Additionally, Public History Ph.D.s must:

  • pass one foreign language examination
  • complete a dissertation
  • serve as a research assistant or teaching assistant

Courses offered

192. Public History
Plane, Hancock

Topical history course to explore the field of public history. Course explores preservation, government, media, historical societies and museums, archives, and teaching of public history. Emphasis on field surveys and case studies.

192P. Proseminar in Public History

Students conduct field research on original project in any sector of public history. Includes, but not limited to, preservation, government, media, historical societies and museums, archives, and teaching public history.

192Q. History, Memory, and Museums

Readings in the field of public memory and its relationship to the discipline of history with emphasis on the role of museums. Students explore a variety of topics including commemoration, tourism, re-enactment, and living history. Geographical and temporal focus vary.

201 Advanced Historical Literature

May be repeated for credit. Open to both M.A. and Ph.D. candidates. A reading course in a field of the professor’s specialty. Introduces the student to the sources and literature of the field in question. Written work as prescribed by the instructor. (Usually offered quarterly.)

205A-B. Public Historical Studies
Bergstrom, Plane, Hancock

To acquaint students with relevant research methods (oral history, legal research, family history, government documents and sources, historical preservation, field research).

206 History and Theory: Public History

An introduction to the major theoretical debates within the profession over questions of epistemology, methodology, and interpretation.


Syllabi from past Public History courses:

Spring 2006, Prof. Randy Bergstrom: Public History and New Media

Winter 2007, Prof. Harold Marcuse: History in the Public Realm: Collective Memory?

Spring 2007, Prof. Randy Bergstrom: History and Theory: Public History