Oral History Seminar. Seminar on Indigenous Histories in Public Places. Introduction to Public History.


Introduction to Public History -- This course explores the broad field of Public History (here defined as all historically-based activities done outside of the academy designed for public audiences), and the differences between and intersections of "public" and "academic" history work. We will discuss theoretical and methodological questions related to archival collection, historic interpretation, publications, and other forms of producing historical work for non-academic audiences. We follow two important threads throughout the term: what factors must be considered as public historians seek to represent the diversity of the past and work with diverse communities in the present, and how does technological innovation shape how public historians engage with audiences and perform other tasks. This course provides a broad introduction to the field of public history and is an important gateway course for public history seminars, internships and special project courses.


Public History Seminar: Indigenous Histories in Public Places -- Today, tourists flock to tribal museums and exhibits created through collaborations between Indian experts non-Native curators in mainstream museums in every corner of the nation. Today, responsible indigenous and non-indigenous researchers follow protocols when working with indigenous communities that respect indigenous sovereignty. But it hasn’t always been that way. Decades of activism among indigenous intellectuals in the U.S. and Canada revolutionized representations of Native histories in public places and launched ongoing efforts to decolonize museum culture.

This course explores the legacies of a mainstream collecting culture on indigenous communities; the history of indigenous protests to the use of their histories and material culture in museum and other cultural performance sites; the passage of legislation that has transformed the collection of indigenous material culture; new collaborative relationships forged between Native authorities and governments and mainstream institutions; the development of tribal heritage institutions and Native directed museums.


Public History Seminar: Oral & Community History -- This oral history course includes three interlocking components: the practical application of oral history collection (of individual interviews and of interview projects) in a practice that is thoughtful, ethical, and documents the historical experiences and perspectives of individuals; the qualitative analysis of raw data; and the examination and critique of the scholarly work of others.