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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Lorraine C Mcconaghy
HIST 590
Seattle Campus

Topics in History

Seminar on selected topics in general history, with special emphasis on preparation for field examinations. Topics vary according to interests of students and instructor.

Class description

"Public History" is the general term for a wide range of applications of training in history to public settings and public audiences. Our class will consider a variety of perspectives on the risks and opportunities of applied history. The class will not only consider public history in the United States, but worldwide. Graduate students, in particular, will be encouraged to fold the possibilities of public history into their area of principal research. The easiest way to reach me with questions is at the Museum of History & Industry, where I work. lorraine.mcconaghy@mohai.org

Student learning goals

For graduate students, the practice of public history is a significant departure from their training. For that reason, a principal goal of this class is to practice collaborative work in history.

Students will demonstrate a good introductory understanding of the contributions that practicing historians can make to the every day lives of ordinary people

Public history is often perceived as a discipline only of interest to Americanists. Graduate students will be encouraged to develop a public history application of their own field of research interest.

Students will demonstrate a good understanding of the professional conversation in the field of public history, of the historiography of the field.

General method of instruction

Our class is open to upper-division undergraduate students and to graduate students. Each Monday, we will all convene for general instruction on the topic of the week. Each Thursday, the graduate students will meet for discussion. I have specified a set of texts for the graduate students to read, and they will also read the class course pak. The Thursday conversations will be stimulating and important - it is there that graduate students will have the opportunity to work through the application of what they are learning about public history to their own field of interest.

Recommended preparation

Students should bring their curiosity about the world of applied history.

Class assignments and grading

Students will read and discuss a substantial body of work. They will build a portfolio of four reviews of the readings they have found most useful and meaningful to their interest in public history, either within the syllabus or (with approval) outside the syllabus. Finally, they will be asked to plan a public history project, in their own field of historical interest.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Lori Anthony
Date: 02/12/2013