MA students in Temple’s 2-year Public History track choose from a variety of advanced graduate courses in American history accompanied by specialized Public History courses. Every Public History course is built around a significant community-engagment project. And every student acquires real-world experience through a host of internships hosted throughout the Philadelphia area.
Applications for fall admission must be submitted by February 15. Applicants must indicate their intent to concentrate in Public History. A limited number of tuition waivers and fellowships are awarded each year to the most qualified applicants. Please contact the Director of Public History for additional information about application requirements and funding opportunities.
Current Public History courses include:
Managing History (8152). This course explores the practical considerations and theoretical issues concerning the management/ownership of the interpretation, preservation, and presentation of history for public consumption. Emphasis is placed on public management policies and methods of private ownership of critical historical issues, including, but not limited to, museum exhibits, historical preservation policies and practices, governance of historical societies and museums, publication practices, historical documentaries (aural and visual), and other elements related to the dissemination of historical interpretations, common historical knowledge, and public memory. This course asks: Who manages American history and American memory? Who Owns History? Who is empowered to tell the story and how did they gain that power? What role does the historian play in the formulation and preservation of public memory?
Studies in American Material Culture (8151). This course introduces students to the major themes, issues, and methods relevant to the study of material culture. Although archeologists have long concerned themselves with the study of prehistoric objects, only within recent decades have scholars focused their attention on the evidentiary value of historic objects. We will consider the variety of ways in which scholars from diverse fields have sought to infer meaning from things and then seek specifically to understand how historians have applied those ideas to their own work. This course is typically organized around a complex group project wherein students assist in developing a public exhibit in cooperation with a partner institution.
Digital History (5400). The definition of digital history is amorphous, broad, and often debated. Digital history projects may refer to everything from an online exhibition to a podcast to a Flickr pool of images to mapping and geographic information systems. This course explores digital history in terms of the questions of narrative, shared authority, access, and historical analysis that arise when using digital tools for working with history. We will discuss the major issues involved in digital history initiatives and gain familiarity with various technologies often used in such projects.
Non-Profit Management (5280). This course provides an introduction to the non-profit based management, leadership, and administration issues and practices for historical and cultural heritage organizations. The goal of this course is to provide students who will be entering the public history field with the background knowledge and tools to be effective managers and leaders in their institutions. Students are introduced to the complexity of issues in historical management and administration as reflexive practitioners and engage a wide variety of case studies, issues analysis and 21st century examples from historical institutions.
The Historian and Society (8713). Open to students in Temple’s Public History Program and to matriculated graduate students in good standing, this course provides graduate credit for Public History Internships in selected Philadelphia-area historical societies, museums, and cultural institutions.