Public History Lab in the Classroom: Bringing Communities into Coursework

Photograph courtesy of David Kogan. 

In October 2013, Loyola University Chicago public history graduate students launched Public History Lab, a student-driven effort to apply public history skills at organizations and sites of history in the Chicagoland area. This post belongs to a series that chronicles efforts undertaken by members of the Public History Lab.

This story originally appeared on the Loyola History Department’s website in October 2015. It has been modified for the Lakefront Historian and updated to reflect Public History Lab activity since then. 

On August 23, 2015, Loyola history master’s student Kristin Jacobsen led a walking tour of the Glenwood Avenue Arts District in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood for the Rogers Park/West Ridge Historical Society (RP/WRHS). Her walking tour stemmed from a project organized by the Public History Lab, in partnership with the RP/WRHS, and undertaken by student groups in Dr. Patricia Mooney-Melvin’s graduate Public History Methods and Theory course (HIST 480) during the fall 2014 semester. For the project, HIST 480 students produced walking tour scripts about Rogers Park and West Ridge history for the RP/WRHS. Jacobsen’s group, which also included master’s students Blake Kennedy, Lauren O’Brien, and Andrew Paddock, produced a tour that explored Rogers Park’s Glenwood Avenue Arts District and presented the concept to the RP/WRHS President and Vice-President in December 2014. Jacobsen agreed to lead the tour for RP/WRHS members the following August.

I spoke to Jacobsen about her experience.

Continue reading “Public History Lab in the Classroom: Bringing Communities into Coursework”

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2015 Loyola HGSA Conference CFP is Here!

History Graduate Student Association Conference

loyola jpeg

Call for Papers

Twelfth Annual
Loyola University Chicago History Graduate Student Conference
November 14, 2015
Loyola University Chicago Water Tower Campus, Chicago, IL

Masters and doctoral graduate students in any field of historical study are invited to submit proposals to present individual research papers at Loyola’s Eleventh Annual History Graduate Student Conference. Panel applications and individual papers focusing on borderlands and transnational studies, urban history, gender history, and public history are especially encouraged. We also welcome papers about history projects in the digital humanities. The goal of this conference is to provide an opportunity for students to gain experience presenting original research projects and to receive feedback from their peers on their work.

Certificates will be awarded to the top three conference presentations.

Individual proposals should include: submitter’s name, contact information, institutional affiliation(s), a one page abstract of the paper (with a title), and a sentence listing up to three…

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Student Spotlight: Pamela Johnson

Loyola University Chicago’s history graduate program is home to dozens of students with a wide range of interests. This spotlight series highlights some of these interests and celebrates the history department’s diverse graduate student community.

This “Student Spotlight” focuses on Pamela Johnson. Pam is in her third (and final!) year of the European History MA program. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Arkansas in 2006.

What are your fields of interest?
I study both modern and early modern Europe, with an emphasis on France. I’ve studied the French Revolution, but I’ve found myself more drawn to the Third Republic. I particularly enjoy micro-history, women & gender, race relations, and urban studies. It’s been wonderful having the opportunity to study those different fields in my courses here at Loyola. I feel that it’s given me a well-rounded view of French history.

Why did you choose Loyola?
I chose to apply to Loyola after being accepted into a few other history programs here in Chicago and finding that they were not the right fit for me. After researching the department, I knew I wanted to work with Dr. Suzanne Kaufman, because she’s done work on modern France. Loyola was definitely the best decision for me. Continue reading “Student Spotlight: Pamela Johnson”

Public Historians at Work: Restructuring a Historical Society

In October 2013, Loyola University Chicago public history graduate students launched Public History Lab, a student-driven effort to apply public history skills at organizations and sites of history in the Chicagoland area. This post belongs to a series that chronicles efforts undertaken by members of the Public History Lab.

When Public History Lab (PHL) formed, several students decided to undertake a partnership with the Rogers Park/West Ridge Historical Society (RPWRHS). Loyola is located in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood and we knew that the RPWRHS needed assistance in several areas. Our early meetings to define the PHL’s goals and the first few months of our partnership with RPWRHS are topics for future blog posts, but for now I will say that the Society welcomed us. One of the first large projects that we undertook with the RPWRHS was the planning and execution of a strategic planning meeting.

PHL students and RPWRHS Board members and volunteers work together to develop a strategic plan. Photograph courtesy of Rachel Boyle.
PHL students and RPWRHS Board members and volunteers work together to develop a strategic plan. February 2014. Photograph courtesy of Rachel Boyle.

The strategic planning meeting yielded a working strategic plan, complete with projects that the Society’s committees (including PHL student volunteers) began working on to meet the plan’s one-, five-, and ten-year goals. Soon after, three PHL students were invited to join the RPWRHS Board of Directors. The students—me, Katie Macica, and Dan Ott—were elected to the Board in March 2014.

Continue reading “Public Historians at Work: Restructuring a Historical Society”