Public History

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Admission Requirements | Program Requirements | Graduate Courses

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Master of Arts in Public History

The Master of Arts in Public History program links historical training and insights-gained from the study of theoretical, comparative, and practical approaches with problem-solving and analytical skills to prepare working historians capable of addressing historical issues in the public sphere.

The curriculum has three basic components: a core segment with internship and thesis, traditional history segment, and applied segment. Applied segment courses include hands-on experience with a variety of local historical organizations and are taught by professionals in the field.
The program’s website provides more detailed information.


Admission Requirements

  • Baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.75 (4.0 scale) or 3.0 in the last 60 hours
  • At least 15 undergraduate history hours with a grade average of 3.25 or above in all history classes (or complete specific preparatory classes).
  • Graduate Record Examination score of at least 153 on the verbal section and a score of at least 144 on the quantitative section.
  • Two letters of recommendation, preferably from persons familiar with applicant’s academic work or related work experience.

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Transfer Credit

Up to six hours of equivalent courses in history, an approved applied area, or suitable general electives may be transferred from other accredited institutions, with approval of the program coordinator and Graduate School dean. Credit may not be applied to History 7311, 7315, 7391, 7398, or 7699.

Special students may take program courses with recommendation of the program coordinator and may later apply the credit to the program if admitted.


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Program Requirements

The public history degree requires 36 graduate credit hours, including 18 core hours, 9 traditional history hours, 9 applied hours, and thesis defense. Core hours include three hours of internship and six hours of thesis with an oral defense. Up to twelve 5000-level hours may be taken. Courses must have grades of B or greater to count toward the degree.

Students pursuing the Master’s Degree in Public History at UALR have the three following degree plans from which to choose.

Plan I - for students intending to pursue career paths that emphasize the possession of historic research skills, such as historical writing, business history, or public policy, or graduate students beyond the Master’s level.

Plan II - for students intending to pursue careers in the specialized application of historical knowledge, such as historic interpretation, museum administration, archives management, historic preservation, or in historic work with public agencies.

Plan III – for students intending to pursue careers in historical interpretation for the public or with students, whether in museums, outreach, schools, or public programming settings.

The applied segment offers emphases in archives, museum studies, and historic preservation and restoration. At least six of the nine applied hours must be in one of these emphases with the remaining three hours selected in consultation with the program coordinator. Students may, with the coordinator’s approval, design an individual plan of study in this segment.

The oral exam covers the thesis. The examining committee, appointed by the Graduate School dean on recommendation of the program coordinator, includes at least the student’s thesis advisor, a history faculty member, and a member of the UALR faculty at large.

Conditional students must complete six hours, including History 7311 and 7315, with grades of B or greater. These grades count toward admission requirements; courses may not be repeated to achieve the grade requirement.

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Curriculum

Core Segment

HIST 7311 Introduction to Public History HIST 7398 Internship
HIST 7315 Seminar in Historical Methods HIST 7399 Thesis Seminar
HIST 7391 Seminar in Public History HIST 7699 Thesis

History Segment

HIST 5305 Environmental History

HIST 5312 Medicine, Miracles, and Magic: Early History of Healing in Medieval and Renaissance Europe

HIST 5313 Apocalypse Now and Then: A History of Apocalyptic Thought and Movements

HIST 5315 Religious History of the United States

HIST 5318 Modern Revolutions: From France to China

HIST 5396 Seminar in Arkansas History

HIST 7392 Seminar in Early America

HIST 7393 Seminar in 19th-Century America

HIST 7394 Seminar in 20th-Century America

HIST 7395 Special Problems in History

HIST 7396 Seminar in History

Applied Segment – Archives

HIST 7320 Archival Management

HIST 7321 Archival Conservation

Museum Studies

HIST 7330 History Museum Administration

HIST 7331 Historical Interpretation in Museums of History

Historic Preservation

HIST 7341 Historic Preservation and Restoration

HIST 5309 A History of Arkansas Architecture

General

HIST 5306 History with Objects

HIST 7352 Historical Parks Planning and Development

HIST 7355 Community History

HIST 7360 Historical Editing: An Introduction

HIST 7370 Oral History

HIST 7372 Digital History

HIST 7380 Directed Study in Public History


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Graduate Assistantships

A limited number of graduate assistantships are available to students enrolled for nine hours. Contact the program coordinator for more information.


Graduation Requirements

  • Cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 on an approved program of study as outlined above
  • Grades of B or greater on all courses
  • Pass the thesis defense

Students who do not achieve a 3.0 GPA in the 36 hours may take up to 9 additional hours of approved courses to raise their GPA.


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Courses in Public History

HIST 5302 Magic, Science, and the Occult from Antiquity to Newton
A survey of human attempts to explain and control the cosmos from antiquity to the emergence of modern science around 1700, including the contributions of pseudo scientific, occult, and magical world views; internal developments in the history of science; and the relationship between scientific thought and the historical context. Three credit hours.

HIST 5303 The Roman Revolution
This seminar will examine the fall of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire. Students in this seminar are expected to acquire a reasonable mastery of major events and developments of this transitional period and to demonstrate at least adequate skill in written analysis of this material.

HIST 5304 Alexander the Great
This undergraduate/graduate seminar will examine the career of one of the most interesting and important figures in world history. Alexander expanded the domain of Greek civilization from the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas to the lands of Afghanistan and India. Three credit hours.

HIST 5305 Environmental History
Humanity’s interrelationship with the natural environment through historic times; emphasis on historical factors relating to current environmental problems.

HIST 5306 History with Objects I
The role of objects in U.S. History including how different academic disciplines study artifacts; how to identify, authenticate, and evaluate artifacts (using decorative arts to learn visual literacy); and the impact of objects (especially their manufacturing and marketing) on American life.

HIST 5312 Medicine, Miracles, and Magic: Early History of Healing in Medieval and Renaissance Europe
A holistic examination of various ways in which Europeans sought to cure disease in pre-modern time. Magic, folk cures, and miracles, as well as the work of physicians, apothecaries, and barber surgeons. The emergence of medicine as a profession and a science. How university-trained physicians came to dominate the healing professions. Three credit hours.

HIST 5313 Apocalypse Now and Then: A History of Apocalyptic Thought and Movements
This course offers a history of beliefs about the end of the world in the western Judeo-Christian tradition. Through lectures and readings, we will examine such topics as the birth of apocalyptic thought, the medieval development of various aspects of traditions about the End (such as the figure of Antichrist and millenarian traditions), millennial influences on the discovery and colonization of the New World, millennial influences on the discovery and colonization of the New World, millennial movements of the last two centuries (such as the Millerites and the Mormons), and contemporary apocalyptic scenarios. A major theme of the course will be flexibility of apocalyptic language, its ability to interpret various historical situations, and its power to move people to acceptance or action. Three credit hours.

HIST 5314 A History of the Future: Millennial Visions in Film and Literature
Examines past moments in which people take stock of the present by gazing into the future. Through literature and film, studies predictions of the future in their historical contexts. Looks at positive and negative views of the future, secular and religious predictions for humans’ fate. Three credit hours

HIST 5315 Religious History of the United States
Development of Protestantism including evangelicalism, new denominations, and fundamentalism; incorporation of Catholicism and Judaism into mainstream; relationship between religion and social and political issues including church and state; minority religious beliefs and organizations; varying role of men and women in religious organizations. Three credit hours.

HIST 5318 Modern Revolutions: From France to China
A comparative examination of five modern revolutions: the French Revolution (1789-1815), The Meiji “Restoration” in Japan (1853- 1890), the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920), the Russian Revolution (1917-1932), and the Chinese Revolution (1919-1949). We will consider such issues as the extent of real turnover in the state apparatus, the prevalence of state-driven “revolutions from above” as opposed to classic “revolutions from below” in modern history, the balance of internal and external causation, and the nature of revolutionary violence. Three credit hours.

HIST 5345 Chinese Film and History
This course looks at the traumatic twentieth century through the lenses of Chinese filmmakers, particularly focusing on how a century of revolution affected urban and rural areas, the roles of women, and the daily lives of people in general. Three credit hours.

HIST 5350 The United States and the Middle East
The development of American foreign policy in the Middle East from the Treaty of Versailles to the emergence of Al-Qaeda.

HIST 5363 Law in American History
The development of legal institutions in America from their English origins to the present. The rule of law, legal thought and the legal profession, the independent judiciary, civil rights, and the law’s role in economic development. Three credit hours.

HIST 5373 History of Family and Childhood in Modern Europe
The course introduces students to the history of childhood and family life in the nineteenth and twentieth Century Europe.

HIST 5375 Modern Mexican History
A study of the emergence of the modern Mexican state. Historical dimensions of contemporary Mexico are explored through a focus on the 1910 Mexican Revolution and its aftermath. Political party formation, agrarian reform, and labor organizations are investigated along with the role of cultural institutions in institutionalizing change. Graduate students with credit for 4375 may be allowed to take 5375 with consent of the instructor.

HIST 5378 The History of U.S.-Latin American Relations
Survey of U.S. – Latin American relations from the pre-Columbian period to the present with emphasis on the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Focus on the diplomatic and economic relationships, including dollar diplomacy, intervention, dictatorship, and revolution. Three credit hours.

HIST 5391 Seminar in United States History.
Prerequisites: History 2311, 2312, three hours of upper-level United States history. Advanced study of a topic in United States history chosen by instructor; includes a major research and writing project incorporating the department’s goals of identifying a problem; establishing a thesis; gathering, evaluating, and analyzing evidence; and writing in an appropriate scholarly format. Six credit hours.

HIST 4390/5390 Special Topics in History
Prerequisites: Specialized study of selected topics in history. Course content changes each semester; refer to the semester class directory. Students with credit for HIST 4390 may enroll in HIST 5390 with approval of the instructor. Three credit hours.

HIST 4393/5393 Seminar in World History
Prerequisites: History 1311, 1312, three hours of upper level non-U.S. history. Advanced study of a topic in non-U.S. history chosen by instructor; includes a major research and writing project incorporating the department’s goals of identifying a problem; establishing a thesis; gathering, evaluating, and analyzing evidence; and writing in an appropriate scholarly format. Three credit hours.

HIST 5396 Seminar in Arkansas History
Discussion, directed readings, research, writing on selected issues. Topics vary each semester; may be repeated once with new topic.

HIST 5397 Teaching Applications
This course links social studies content with practical applications for classroom instruction and curriculum design. Students study history, geography, political science, anthropology, economics, and psychology contained in the state social studies framework for grades 7 – 12, and learn how to plan and detach social studies lessons, units, and curriculum maps. HIST 5397 is not open for students with credit for HIST 4397.

HIST 7311 Introduction to Public History
History, philosophy, purposes of historical agencies; archives; museum organization, operation; cultural resource management; relationship of historians and business community; historians as consultants; professional ethics.

HIST 7315 Seminar in Historical Methods
Basic skills, techniques for historical research; models for use, interpretation of evidence; problem of historical causation; bibliography, techniques for defining, focusing research projects; steps in research planning, design, presentation.

HIST 7320 Archival Management
Techniques of managing contemporary archives; includes methods of document preservation, organization of manuscripts and archival records, administrative systems, philosophy of archival control; experience with actual collections.

HIST 7321 Archival Conservation
Restoration of historical books, documents; includes conservation fundamentals, paper repair methods, book restoration, basic bookbinding techniques; experience with actual collections.

HIST 7330 History Museum Administration
Theoretical, practical aspects; includes purpose of museums, their intellectual and ethical responsibilities, organizational problems inherent in pursuit of these aims.

HIST 7331 History Museum Interpretation
History, functions of historical museums; focus on role as research and educational institutions; includes possibilities, problems of interpreting history for the general public; joint research on a specific problem with local museum staff.

HIST 7341 Historic Preservation and Restoration
Definition, rationale, methods, techniques of preservation; problems of restoration, preservation of historic spaces, buildings; national, state preservation law, agencies; case studies; site surveys; field trips to preservation projects.

HIST 7352 Historical Parks Planning and Development
Discussions, directed readings, research, writing on issues related to planning, development of historic parks; includes identifying and protecting historical resources, land use, staffing requirements, long- and short-term planning, governmental policy, funding, other topics.

HIST 7355 Community History
This course introduces students to the research practices, challenges, and community engagement opportunities associated with local history. Major themes include research in archival and online collections; working with community entities such as schools, non-profit agencies, local government, libraries, museums, and historical societies; and avenues for disseminating research to community audiences. The class is designed to incorporate technology through content delivery, examination of primary source documents, and in student work and presentations.

HIST 7360 Historical Editing: An Introduction
History of historical journal, documents editing, publishing historical materials.

HIST 7370 Oral History
Innovative approach to teaching and learning of history; emphasis on creation, processing, curating, use of oral history materials.

HIST 7372 Digital History
In this class, we will explore the emerging field of digital history by both reading scholarly works and building a website. Our readings will examine digital production, information architecture, oral histories, and audio documentaries. Our website will include a digital file of an interview, scanned historical sources, and an exhibit. At the end of the class, students will know the theoretical background of digital history and will know how to plan, collect, and digitally publish a public history website.

HIST 7380 Directed Study in Public History
Prerequisites: consent of coordinator and, if applicable, supervisory agency. Student chooses to do either a practicum with a local agency or assigned readings and research on issues involving public history. Topics vary each semester.

HIST 7391 Seminar in Public History
Prerequisites: History 5303, 7311, 7315. (Open only to students in the program.) Directed readings, research on specialized topics in public history; concentrates on skills basic to all public history specialization areas, team-research experience.

HIST 7392 Seminar in Early America
Discussion, directed readings, research, writing on selected issues. Topics vary each semester; may be repeated once with new topic.

HIST 7393 Seminar in 19th-Century America
Discussions, directed readings, research, writing on selected issues. Topics vary each semester; may be repeated once with new topic.

HIST 7394 Seminar in 20th-Century America
Discussions, directed readings, research, writing on selected issues. Topics vary each semester; may be repeated once with new topic.

HIST 7395 Special Problems in History
Major individual research project or directed readings in consultation with and under supervision of a faculty member. Topics vary each semester; may be repeated once with new topic.

HIST 7396 Seminar in History
Discussion, directed readings, research, writing on selected issues in American, non-American history. Topics vary each semester; may be repeated once with new topic.

HIST 7398 Internship
Prerequisites: 24 program hours; consent of coordinator. Employment, practical experience in community agency, under professional guidance, in concentration area; requires written report.

HIST 7399 Thesis Seminar
In this class you will plan, design, research and write your thesis for the MA program in Public History. We will use Turabian’s “Manual for Writers” and the History Department’s “MA Thesis Guidelines” as a map to work through the different stages of a master’s thesis. Students should repeat this class in two consecutive semesters.

HIST 7699 Thesis
Prerequisite: consent of coordinator. Scholarly investigation involving original research.


Courses in Geography

GEOG 5300 Special Topics
Prerequisites: nine geography hours (or nine hours in an associated discipline that complements the topic), consent of instructor. Topics of contemporary interest and demand; focused to permit in-depth understanding of issue.

GEOG 5321 Geomorphology
Prerequisite: consent of the instructor. See ERSC 5321.

GEOG 5332 Population Geography
Global, national, and sub-national population process, issues, and policies. Emphasis on basic demographic components of fertility, mortality, and migration; on population structures; factors that influence the demographic components and the population structures over time.
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