Course Catalog

GRAD > HIST > 625

Interpreting History in Public Approaches to Public History Practice

This course gives students an overview of the history, best practices, and cultural debates that provide the context for museum and historic site interpretation in the United States. Students will learn how versions of the past are created, communicated and institutionalized as history at historic sites, museums, historic houses, landscapes, and the web. They will explore successful models of interpretation in public venues and examine dilemmas in community collaboration and interpretation for and with the public. Students examine the roles of evidence, history and politics in interpretation; venues, cultures and histories that shape interpretation; interpretive methods and practices in using historical evidence in public history venues; and issues and practices that challenge the practice of public history now and into the future. The course offers students several opportunities to engage in this exploration through readings, assignments, class discussion, guest speakers, case studies, visits to actual and virtual sites, written and oral assignments, and practicum experiences with a community partner.

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