UMass Boston

Jane Becker

Director of Public History
McCormack Hall Floor 04


I began my life in museums in my hometown, Washington, DC, but embarked on a career in history museums during graduate school in American Studies at Boston University. My teaching focuses on areas related to public history and museum practice—graduate seminars in interpretation and exhibits for history museums and sites, and material culture studies. Currently, I teach the interpretation/methods course in the public history track.

Area of Expertise

Jane Becker’s research and professional interests include public history and museum studies; U.S. social and cultural history between the world wars; history of the Appalachian South; and American material culture studies. She directs the Public History Track in the History MA program, manages internships and outreach initiative for Public History, and teaches one of the core public history courses, "Interpreting History in Public: Approaches to Public History Practice."


PhD (American Studies) Boston University

BA (History & Music) Hamilton College

Professional Publications & Contributions

Additional Information

I have worked in a wide range of venues--large and small history museums both nationally and locally focused; state arts and humanities councils; local and federal historic sites and parks; universities; and local preservation commissions. In these cultural organizations I have conducted research; developed conceptual and interpretive plans for exhibits, tours, and programs; and managed exhibit and oral history projects.

In addition, I have developed programs and worked as a historian for a variety of projects serving different communities in New England, ranging from organizing and leading inventory projects, to conducting oral histories in a community setting. 

I am a believer in and witness to the potential of history in transforming communities and empowering citizens, and an enthusiastic supporter of the public humanities.