Public History Courses

Oral Histories of Folk Medicine: Native American, African American, Creole and Cajun Practices of Healing

This course will provide an overview of the global history of medicine from the early modern to modern period, We will then focus on the rise of modern medicine and its efforts to suppress long standing healing practices of various communities, particularly in the Deep South. Students will also be trained in oral history methods, use the resources of the Guilbeau Center for Public History to collect oral histories from Native American, African American, Creole and Cajun community members. Students will publish podcasts, form an oral history collection for the Guilbeau Center and design a digital website on the histories of healing.

PUBLIC HISTORY OF SLAVERY IN LOUISIANA

GUEST SPEAKERS, VISITS TO KEY HISTORIC SITES, AND WORK WITH LOCAL MUSEUMS WILL HELP STUDENTS UNDERSTAND THE DEEP HISTORY OF ENSLAVEMENT IN LAFAYETTE AND LOUISIANA. STUDENTS WILL PARTICIPATE IN A CONFERENCE ON THE PUBLIC HISTORY OF SLAVERY AND HELP CURATE AN EXHIBIT THAT WILL BE FEATURED AT VERMILIONVILLE.

HERITAGE AND MEMORY IN HISTORY MUSEUMS

This class examines museums and memorials that represent heritage, history and memory. How do some heritages come to be memorialized and institutionalized and others excluded? Case studies from different regions and social contexts will be explored including conflict heritage, minority heritage, indigenous heritage sites of conscience, the relationship between heritage, development and tourism to history museums and memorials. Considering cultural institutions as diverse as Colonial Williamsburg, immigration museums in the US, Slavery museums in Africa, Holocaust museums in Europe, and museums of Native American history and culture, we seek out common themes and problems that provide opportunities for growth in institutional representations of the past. Topics covered include: authenticity, race, cultural property, nationalism, interpretation, multivocality, contact zones, multiculturalism and community outreach. Our objective is to examine the connections and distinctions between the theory and practice of exhibiting history and to understand how material culture, social process and historical events converge in the social production of collections and institutions. Our focus is on museums not merely as containers of history, but as social arenas that influence and determine the politics, value and experience of the past. Students will develop a theoretical toolkit for contextualizing and addressing controversies in the heritage industry of cultural institutions. 


Historic Sites and the Politics of Preservation: Native American and African American Public History

Students who complete this course will review 150 years of preservation projects in the U.S., a movement that has not only saved historic houses, but established the national park system and documented the nation's heterogeneous history. Students will encounter powerful, evocative interpretive projects, contemporary battles over preservation, innovative approaches to programming and community formation, as well as failed attempts to preserve public space. Students will discuss the controversies surrounding these spaces, paying particular attention to the social and political context in which both the original use and reuse of historic space took place. With a focus on which histories have been preserved by the government as part of the national narrative and which have been ignored, we will examine strategies for proposing new historical sites. In what contexts have African American and Native American histories succeeded in being preserved? What were the issues debated by community members and government officials around contested sites? The course is organized into three themes: (1) types of historic sites and cultural landscapes, (2) processes of preservation, and (3) activating historic sites.  Assignments include proposing new historical sites and creating a walking tour of historic sites in the city.  

INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITIES



Digital Humanities Associate Fellowship at The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC:

"The Digital Humanities Associate Fellowship (DHAF) recognizes the increasing importance and use of Digital Humanities (DH) in Holocaust research and teaching and supports its practices, possibilities, and applications for the field and the Museum. This (relatively) young academic specialty seeks to apply the wealth of new digital techniques and technologies to the problems of humanities research and education. With the DHAF program, the Museum seeks to increase capacity for expanding the application of digital techniques across the institution and the field of Holocaust and Genocide studies.

While at the Museum, the Digital Humanities Associate Fellows will develop and conduct independent research projects under the supervision of a Museum mentor, interact with staff and visiting scholars in residence, and audit special summer seminars and research workshops that explore some of the most challenging questions still to be addressed by Holocaust scholarship. Activities span the Museum’s DC locations and the David and Fela Shapell Family Collections, Conservation, and Research Center in suburban Maryland."

https://www.ushmm.org/research/competitive-academic-programs/fellows-and-scholars/digital-humanities-associate-fellowship



The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Museum Internship - Office of Museum Services

Job Description: Part-time (voluntary) internship in the Office of Museum Services; available in the fall, spring, and summer each year.

Eligible Applicants: Graduate students in museum studies or related fields

Open: Until filled (up to 6 positions available each term)

Application Deadlines (subject to change):
Fall Internship – July 1 (internship starts in early September)
Spring Internship – November 1 (internship starts in early January)
Summer Internship – April 1 (internship starts in early June)

OMS Internship Program

With a mission to advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grant-making, research, and policy development, internships in the Office of Museum Services at IMLS are designed to introduce graduate candidates in museum studies, or other related programs, to grant-making and analysis, trend studies, data analysis and synthesis and general research which help museums and libraries deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive.

An intern in OMS would be expected to dedicate up to 20 hours per week for a minimum of one semester. Interns would work closely with six portfolio teams (Diversity and Inclusion, Professional Development, Learning, Collections, Digital Technology, and Community) within OMS. The overall learning experience would include working on projects such as:

  • conducting scans and analysis of OMS grants, special projects, and initiatives;

  • conducting research and compilation on trends and studies;

  • helping with presentations and convenings;

  • learning about the multilayered dynamics of grants management in action by participating in various OMS meetings as relevant; and

  • learning about other IMLS departments and their work.

We anticipate selecting up to 6 interns each semester. Solid writing skills and an interest in the arts and humanities are essential. Unfortunately, we are not able to pay our interns. We will cooperate in arrangements for graduate school credit.

Interested graduate students are encouraged to send their resumes (with two references), a cover letter stating which portfolio team best aligns with their interests (if you are not sure of any one particular portfolio area but are open to any or all areas, please indicate that), and one writing sample to:

Reagan Moore
Museum Program Officer
Office of Museum Services
Institute of Museum and Library Services
955 L'Enfant Plaza North, SW, Suite 4000
Washington, DC, 20024-2135
rmoore@imls.gov (link sends e-mail)

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is an equal opportunity employer. We maintain a year-round internship program.

https://www.imls.gov/about-us/jobs-imls/internship-opportunities/museum-internship

Museum Job Descriptions

Not sure what museum career is right for you? Check out this resource on museum job descriptions: