Public historians present, interpret, and help to preserve history in a variety of venues and diverse formats. Specifically, public historians strive to apply their historical skills, knowledge, and insights in public settings and for public audiences not often associated with history in an academic setting, such as archives, museums, historic sites, public and private agencies and corporations, and non-profit organizations, to name only a few.
Public History Opportunities
At Stephen F. Austin State University students have the opportunity to develop these public history skills in a number of ways. Located southeast of Dallas and northeast of Houston in deep East Texas, Nacogdoches is ripe with many internship opportunities. As the only university in the area with a public history program, students commonly find positions or opportunities to work with museums, archives, and historic sites, as well as to find work on preservation grants and with historical societies, among other things. Our professors are intimately associated with the public history program and students are able to benefit from diverse classes and faculty expertise, ranging from memory, to the material world, to preservation, to commemoration, to cultural resources management, to public policy, to museums, to archives, to collections management, to oral history, to local history, and more. Put differently, our faculty members here at SFA are as diverse as the students they work with and are well qualified and eager to serve.
Public History Training
Stephen F. Austin State University's Public History Program strives to train students as historians - historians who deal with a passionate, engaged, and extremely diverse public audience. We offer broad training for practicing, presenting, and preserving history outside the traditional university or classroom setting. Students are trained in historical methods, with an emphasis on delivering historical scholarship in a variety of forms. Besides the many unique courses offered in the public history program, students are also trained in courses designed to enhance their history skills and knowledge, such as historiography and seminars. Students trained in public history often find jobs in such varying fields as archives and libraries, government agencies, National Parks, historic houses, living history sites, corporate consulting and history, historic preservation, urban planning, cultural resources management, museums, historical societies, documentary editing and film, and journalism. We are listed in the NCPH's Guide to Public History Programs. Here is the one-page pdf description of our program. In our academic program we strive to exceed the best practices as outlined by the National Council on Public History in its 2015 guide to public history education, the Public History Navigator.
We do enjoy our fieldtrips and in October 2016 we had five of them: (1) Caddo Mounds State Historic Site & Mission Tejas State Park, (2) San Augustine, TX - to see excellent 1830s and 1840s Greek Revival architecture, (3) Zion Hill Baptist Church - in the midst of a multi-year rehabilitation project, (4) Arcadia, Texas so tour restored vernacular architecture - aka dogtrots, and (5) a Saturday trip to Natchitoches and the Cane River Creole National Heritage Area via Keachi, Louisiana. Thanks to all the students who participated and made them fun and intellectually rewarding adventures. See the photographs below.
It is hot, dirty work but the graduate assistants are up to the task - even in the 100+ degree heat index! See pictures below from our "Nac 300 Event" cleanings at Oak Grove Cemetery on September 16, 2016 and our, happily, cooler event on October 28, 2016.
- The Vanishing Texana Museum welcomes undergraduate and graduate student interns to help with educational programming, curation, and interpretive development. Please see Dr. Beisel for additional information.
- The Tompkins Fellowships provide funding for students to work with HABS in summer 2017 - a great opportunity for anyone interested in cultural resources management and historic preservation.
- Society of Southwest Archivists - Deadlines for all applications is February 21, 2017. Additional information and applications can be found at southwestarchivists.org/scholarships. Please share this information with any colleagues or students you think might benefit. SAA Annual Meeting Scholarship, $600. John Michael Caldwell Student Scholarship, $600. David B. Gracy II Student Scholarship, $600. A. Otis Hebert Jr. Continuing Education Scholarship, $1,000.
- Curatorial Intern in clothing and textiles opening at Nantucket Historical Association to be completed in Spring and/or Summer 2017; housing and stipend available (announced 9-30-16)
- Mission Delores State Historic Siteis accepting applications for its Spring 2017 Internship. You may received graduate credit for this work through HIS583 - Practicum in Public History.
- The George Ranch Historic Park is accepting applications for its 2017 Spring Internship. Compensation includes a $2,500 stipend for 25-weeks, 40-hours per week. Deadline to apply is October 15, 2016.
- Sam Rayburn House State Historic Site, Texas Historical Commission, Fall Internship 2016. Option I/Collections: Interns may work on one or more of the following projects: packing and storing artifacts; cataloging and researching the museum collection; taking digital photographs of artifacts; re-housing and cleaning artifacts; data entry of collections records; and organizing site resources. Option II/Interpretation: Interns may work on one or more of the following projects: develop themed tours of historic house; develop engaging programming and events for the Sam Rayburn House State Historic Site; develop off-site programming and outreach for schools and other community organizations; and develop multi-sensory tours and/or accessible tours for groups with various abilities. This is an unpaid position. Submit resume, official transcript and the completed Texas Historical Commission internship application, found here: http://www.thc.state.tx.us/about-us/job-openings/internship-program to: Texas Historical Commission Staff Services, Attn: Internship Program P.O. Box 12276 Austin, TX 78711.
- George Ranch Historical Park in Richmond, Texas is accepting applications for its six-month 2016 Fall/Winter Internship. This 40-hour per week position includes a $2500 stipend and housing for the 25 week internship.
- George Mason University is offering a Digital Humanities Certificate as a 15 credit-hour cooperative program between the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media and the Smithsonian Associates.
2016 World Architecture and Historic Preservation Tours
- 2016 Oct 29 - Natchitoches Best block in town - historic courthouse, "new" 1930s courthouse, 1950s fire station, and not shown Italian Renaissance Revival, Gothic Revival, Greek Revival, and Italianate structures.
- 2016 Oct 29 - Oakland Plantation 4
- 2016 Oct 29 - Oakland Plantation 3
- 2016 Oct 29 - Oakland Plantation 2 Introduction in the plantation store
- 2016 Oct 29 - Oakland Plantation 1
- 2016 Oct 29 - Magnolia Plantation 3
- 2016 Oct 29 - Magnolia Plantation 2
- 2016 Oct 29 - Magnolia Plantation 1
- 2016 Oct 29 - Keachi, LA 2
- 2016 Oct 29 - Keachi, LA 1
Oak Grove Cemetery Cleanings Sept & Oct 2016As part of the Nacogdoches Tri-Centennial Celebration, SFASU students, undergraduates in Dr. Beisel's US History Surveys and public history graduate students, joined volunteers from the public to help clean gravestones in the historic Oak Grove Cemetery.
- 2016 Oct Oak Grove Cleaning 3 The green lichen was not match for graduate assistants Kris Moffett and Jennifer Kellum, water, Orvus, D2, and lots of elbow grease.
- 2016 Oct Oak Grove Cleaning 2 Lea Clark makes a difference with a grimy marble stone.
- 2016 Oct Oak Grove Cleaning 1 Undergraduates Natalie Sapp and Matthew Griner worked intently on a previously lichen covered gravestone.
- 2016 Sept Oak Grove Cleaning 3 Graduate assistant Jennifer Kellum takes a break from supervising undergrads to clean a gravestone.
- 2016 Sept Oak Grove Cleaning 2 Graduate students Allison Grimes and Kris Moffett tackle some stones.
- 2016 Sept Oak Grove Cleaning 1