Optional Courses

9806A-001 - Understanding Archives: The Management of Primary Sources in the Digital Age

This course is designed to introduce students to the fundamentals of professional archival work. Class sessions will primarily be lecture driven, but combine discussion, practical exercises, and demonstrations. Students will gain a solid grounding in the history of the profession, an understanding of basic archival terminology, principles, theory, as well as an appreciation of current practices and how digital technologies have impacted both archival management and public programming. Optional for Public History students; open to other graduate students with the instructor's permission.


9807B-001 - Introduction to Museology

This course is intended for the student who may be considering a career in the museum field and is interested in exploring some of the theoretical as well as practical aspects involved in operating a museum, or the student who would simply like to become better acquainted with the history of museums and the role of the museum as collector, guardian and interpreter of public history. The course will provide a general introduction to the history and development of various types of museums; to the cultural, legal, ethical and other issues facing museums today; and to some of the practical aspects relating to the basic museum functions of acquisition, preservation, exhibition, and education.


9809A-001 - Social Memory

This research course is an introduction to the phenomenon of social memory in various modern societies. It will address such matters as the commemoration of historical events and the meanings conferred on them, conflicts over different versions of history, the construction of collective identities around historical events, and the influence of historical events on modern nationalisms. In each case, there will be an attempt to understand the continuing impact of the past on the present. The seminar readings will be divided into themes, with each week’s readings examining a different case study of the theme.


9832B-001 - Interactive Exhibit Design

This is a studio course on interactive exhibit design for public historians. Students will learn how to create interactive exhibits through a series of hands-on projects that teach the basics of interaction design, physical computing, and desktop fabrication. Preference is given to Public History students; open to other graduate students with instructor's permission.


9877A-001 -Digital Research Methods

Historical research now crucially involves the acquisition and use of digital sources. In this class, students will learn to find, harvest, manage, excerpt, cluster, and analyze digital materials throughout the research process, from initial exploratory forays through the production of an electronic article or monograph which is ready to submit for publication.


9900 - Cognate Paper

The cognate essay should be a high-quality research paper, comparable to an article published in a scholarly journal, which develops and sustains a significant historical argument. It must be:

  • approximately 12,500 words (about 50 typed, double-spaced pages) in length
  • characterized by polished presentation (well organized, clearly, concisely and elegantly expressed, free of grammar and syntax errors etc.)
  • based on primary source material, and
  • set in the context of the critical published work.