Public History

Although historians often call themselves professors and academics, they are also film and media producers, historical interpreters and consultants, archivists, cultural resource managers, oral historians, policy advisors and government historians, museum professionals and curators, historic preservationists, local historians, and community activists, among other titles. The University of Oregon's department of History is committed to expanding the presence of historians beyond the classroom and the academy to many sectors of public life.  

What is Public History? 

The National Council on Public History describes the field simply as "history beyond the walls of the traditional classroom." Public history utilizes historical skills and methods to facilitate connections between the public and its past. This field differs from traditional history by its collaborative work with community members, stakeholders, and professional colleagues. This approach requires consideration of shared authority between historians and the public and the role of "professionalization" of local history. 

To read more about what public history is and the many careers associated with the field please visit the National Council on Public History's article "About the field" on their website. 

How Ducks do Public History 

The department of History is fortunate to have faculty members from a wide range of research interests who engage in public-facing work. Our faculty have been interviewed in outlets such as The Atlantic, PBS Newshour, The Washington Post, CBC Radio, and the MIT Tech Review. They have also served on historical commissions, advised the National Parks Service on programming, and co-authored legal briefs in Supreme Court cases.  Our faculty have curated exhibitions in museums and created online educational resources. 

Currently, the department is happy to welcome our Postdoctoral fellow in Public History, Dr. Katherine Macica. During the 23-24 academic year, be sure to register for Dr. Macica's HIST 399: Introduction to Public History in the fall and her graduate course HIST 606: Public History Practicum in the winter. She will also teach a Public History Practicum for undergraduates in the spring. Be on the lookout for more future experiential learning opportunities brought to you by Dr. Macica. 

As the department wishes to celebrate the work by our faculty, you will find below links to the exemplary work in public history by our faculty. 

Interviews by News Outlets: 

Online Projects: 

Insights From the Field  

Julie Weise


Julie Weise, Associate Professor in the Department of History
"With the support of Whiting Public Engagement Fellowship, I collaborated with a team of North Carolina media-savvy Latinx community leaders, college students, and a video editor to create the []"Nuestro South" podcast, video, and social media project. Hosted by Daisy Almonte, Axel Herrera, and Bryan Mejía, co-produced with Erik Valera and the nonprofit organization LatinxEd, and edited by Dorian Gómez, our content filters historical scholarship on Latinx people in the South, including my award-winning book Corazón de Dixie, through the lens of young people who are discovering and celebrating their roots in the region."