Teaching Public History

Edited by Julia Brock, Evan Faulkenbury

280 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 5 halftones

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-7330-1
    Published: May 2023
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-5975-4
    Published: March 2023
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-7329-5
    Published: May 2023
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-1-4696-7331-8
    Published: March 2023

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The field of public history is growing as college and university history departments seek to recruit and retain students by emphasizing how studying the past can sharpen their skills and broaden their career options. But faculty have often sought to increase course offerings without knowing exactly what the teaching and practice of public history entails. Public historians have debated the meanings of public history since the 1970s, but as more students take public history courses and more scholars are tasked with teaching these classes, the lack of pedagogical literature specific to the field has been challenging. This book addresses the need for a practical guide to teaching public history now. In eleven essays by esteemed public historians teaching at colleges and universities across the United States, this volume details class meetings, student interactions, field trips, group projects, grading, and the larger aims of a course. Each essay contains wisdom and experience for how to teach a public history course and why such classes are vital for our students and communities.

Contributors include: Thomas Cauvin, Kristen Baldwin Deathridge, Jennifer Dickey, Torren Gatson, Abigail Gautreau, Romeo Guzmán, Jim McGrath, Patricia Mooney-Melvin, Lindsey Passenger Wieck, and Rebecca S. Wingo.

About the Authors

Julia Brock is assistant professor of history at the University of Alabama.
For more information about Julia Brock, visit the Author Page.

Evan Faulkenbury is associate professor of history at SUNY Cortland.
For more information about Evan Faulkenbury, visit the Author Page.


“A practical, honest look at university-level public history courses and different ways to teach them. . . . Highly recommended. . . . Faculty members will find much of interest here.”—Library Journal

"Teaching Public History is full of authentic humanity and a deep commitment to both student and instructor growth. The essays here reflect positively on the academically based public historians who are helping to develop new generations of professional practitioners and historically conscious citizens, confirming the notion that public history is one of the healthiest and most honest corners of higher education."—Anne Mitchell Whisnant, Duke University

"Reading across the full selection of essays in this book, one begins to get a sense of the contours of the field, its theories and methods, and its pedagogy, seeing convergences and divergences across definition, method, and approaches to the practice. With a myriad of voices and a unique mix of heartfelt reflections and candid meditations, this book aptly captures the complexity, nature, and critical importance of public history."—M. J. Rymsza-Pawlowska, American University