Colleges & Universities

In the spring of 2010, American University signed a memorandum of agreement with the National Museum of American History to formalize their collaborative relationship. Since then, the Museum has hosted a number of graduate interns, facilitated classroom discussions on public history, and has participated in a faculty exchange, bringing Prof. Kathleen Franz from AU as a visiting scholar to work on the American Enterprise exhibition. The History Department at American University has a deep commitment to public service, blurring the lines between the academy and the public sphere. In 2000, the Department created a graduate program in public history to train the next generation of engaged historians. The program draws on an extensive network of relationships with federal and non-profit institutions in Washington, DC to provide students with meaningful and practical experiences in documenting and interpreting the past in public venues.

Faculty Supervisor
Kathleen Franz is Associate Professor and Director of Public History in the History Department at American University, Washington, D.C. She holds a PhD in American Civilization from Brown University where she trained in American cultural history, the history of technology, and museum studies. Her publications include Tinkering: Americans Reinvent the Early Automobile (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005) and the forthcoming Major Problems in American Popular Culture, co-edited with Susan Smulyan (Wadsworth Cengage, 2010). Her awards and prizes include several national fellowships and the Hindle Prize from the Society for the History of Technology. An active public historian, she has acted as curator on several exhibitions, including most recently David Macaulay: The Art of Drawing Architecture (National Building Museum, June 2007-May 2008) and On Track: Transit and the American City (National Building Museum, 2001-2002). At American University she runs the public history program, oversees numerous student projects in and around D.C., and teaches courses on public history, American popular culture, and visual and material culture.

Brown University’s John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage works to connect the academy and the broader public. We believe that an increased appreciation of diverse cultures and cultural heritage is essential to American society, and are dedicated to helping further understanding by providing the skills practitioners need to preserve and manage cultural heritage. We build links between universities, cultural organizations, and communities by working with community organizations, museums, and arts groups, sponsoring classes and workshops for students and professionals in the field, and running Brown’s MA program in public humanities. We are pleased to work with the National Museum of American History on American Enterprise, continuing a tradition of cooperation that includes co-sponsorship of the Bracero Project, America on the Move, and many graduate practicum projects.

Faculty Supervisor
Steven Lubar, a professor in the departments of history and American civilization at Brown University, runs Brown’s public humanities program and is director of the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage and the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology. He came to Brown after twenty years at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, where he was chair of the division of the history of technology, and where he worked on many exhibitions and collection projects, including Engines of Change, and America on the Move, and a museum history project that resulted in co-authoring Legacies: Collecting America’s History at the Smithsonian: At Brown, he’s expanded his interests to include community cultural development, public art and cultural heritage, and most recently, learning how to be director of an anthropology museum.

As part of a collaborative relationship with the National Museum of American History, students and faculty in James Madison University’s Department of History have worked on the American Enterprise Exhibition since the summer of 2010. The department offers a concentration in Public History that trains students in the broad range of skills and issues associated with public history while providing them with a solid general background in history. Hands-on or experiential learning, field trips to museums and historic sites, and collaborative projects constitute important parts of the public history curriculum. While students undertake internships at museums, archives, and historical research firms, they also learn to work with a broad range of evidence such as oral histories, objects, archaeological sites, landscapes, and historic buildings.

Faculty Supervisor
Daniel Kerr is an Assistant Professor in the History Department at James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA. He directs the department’s Shenandoah Valley Oral History Project and helps coordinate its public history program. He received his Ph.D. and M.A. in History from Case Western Reserve University and his B.A. in History from Carleton College. His book, Derelict Paradise: Homelessness and Urban Development in Cleveland, Ohio, is scheduled for publication in February 2011. Kerr specializes in the fields of environmental history, urban social history, and oral history. Since arriving in Harrisonburg, he has designed a fieldwork-based course that examines the history of the local poultry industry. He supervises interns and serves as a consultant for the American Enterprise team.

Unique among all American colleges and universities, Smith’s Internship Program at the Smithsonian Institution allows qualified juniors and seniors to work with some of the nation’s preeminent curators and scholars of American culture, doing hands-on research and program development. The one-semester program consists of an internship at one of the nineteen Smithsonian museums, where students assist in creating exhibitions and programming, conduct research with archival and museum materials, and work side by side with curators on a great range of projects. Students also enroll in a weekly seminar on Museum Studies conducted by an expert in the field, as well as a monthly colloquium in which they report on the progress of their own personal research projects. These activities constitute a full semester of course credit.

Faculty Supervisor
Rosetta Marantz Cohen is Sylvia Dluglasch Bauman Professor of American Studies and Education at Smith College, and is the Director of the Smith College Internship Program at the Smithsonian Museum and co-founder of the Museums Concentration at Smith. She received her BA from Yale University, her MFA from Columbia University and her EdD from Teachers College, Columbia. She teaches courses on the history and philosophy of education, and is the author of four books on American school reform and the history of the teaching profession, including The Work of Teachers in America: A Social History Through Stories (Erlbaum, 1997), and The Teacher-Centered School (Rowman and Littlefield, 2003). Her current work is in the area of international education and women’s access to literacy education.

Established in 1975 as the Applied History Program, the Public History Program at the University of South Carolina offers a masters degree with a focus on museum studies, historic preservation, and archives. Complementing the traditional coursework, students have the choice of two additional graduate certificate programs: the Certificate in Museum Management, administered by the McKissick Museum, and the Certificate in Historical Archaeology and Cultural Resource Management, administered by the Anthropology Department. The Public History Program also has an active and successful relationship with the School of Library and Information Science, offering a 3-year joint MPH/MLIS duel degree. USC’s graduate students are working with the American Enterprise exhibit team to create a methodology for small museums and historical societies to research local business history, collect oral histories, and create online exhibits.

Faculty Supervisor
Allison Marsh is an Assistant Professor at the University of South Carolina where she directs the museum studies track of the public history program. At USC, she is actively involved with exhibition development at the McKissick Museum and currently curates two major shows: Imaging the Invisible, an investigation of how we come to trust images that picture things invisible to the naked eye, and The Ultimate Vacation, a history of factory tours in America. Public history courses taught by her at USC include Museums and Monuments and Material Culture Studies. She holds a PhD in the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology from Johns Hopkins University.