History 659: Intro to Public History
Bartlett Hall room 131 – Tuesdays 2:30 – 5:00 pm



Dr. Jon Berndt Olsen
Department of History

University of Massachusetts at Amherst


Office Hours: Mondays & Wednesdays 2-3 or by appointment
Office:  Herter Hall 609
Telephone: 413.545.6767
Email: jon@history.umass.edu

Web: http://people.umass.edu/jon

Blog: http://blogs.umass.edu/jon





The purpose of this course is to introduce you to the world of public history – both the ideas and questions that make it tick, and the practical, on-the-ground concerns that confront public historians in a variety of professional settings.  The course will turn on five key concept areas that inform the world of public history: History and Memory; Shared Authority and/or Inquiry; Agendas and Audiences; Legal and Ethical Frameworks; and Economics and Entrepreneurship.  By the end of the semester, you will have read some of the most significant past and contemporary literature in the field of public history, and, through discussions in and beyond the classroom, have formed your own understanding of what constitutes public history.  Through our shared readings, forays into the community, conversations with guest speakers, and through your own public history fieldwork, you will also have a clearer idea of what it means to work in a variety of public history settings in terms of both theory and practice.