Public History, Heritage, and Historical Consciousness (HIST*6590) | College of Arts

Public History, Heritage, and Historical Consciousness (HIST*6590)

Code and section: HIST*6590*01

Term: Fall 2020

Instructor: Alan Gordon


AD-S Virtual:

This course will be taught online in a Synchronous format on the following scheduled day(s) and time(s):

M    2:30 pm - 5:20 pm

Details provided by instructor: Seminars will be conducted virtual synchronously via teleconference in the above scheduled day/time.

This course will develop the skills to critically examine uses of history in the public sphere.  We will look at past and current controversial uses of History, with a focus North America.  This course is not a class on public history methods or practices.  It is a critical examination of historical consciousness, the uses of memory, and heritage in the public sphere.  

There will be three short and one long written assignments. The first two assignments involve critical reflections on the on-going controversies about monuments and commemorations.  The third is to write a brief essay proposal on a historiographical subject of the student’s choosing, related to the course themes.  The final written assignment will be the historiographical essay.  In addition, each participant in the seminar is expected to come to class prepared to discuss the week's readings.  If we are teaching remotely, there will be assigned reports as part of the class participation.  Everyone should expect to read the equivalent of 5-7 articles per week, and be prepared to discuss them in seminar.


  1. First Reflection Essay - 20%
  2. Second Reflection Essay - 20%
  3. Essay Proposal - 5%
  4. Historiographical Essay - 35%
  5. Seminar Participation - 20%

Required Texts:

Supporting questions and reading materials will be available on the Courselink site and through the university library.  

*Please note:  This is a preliminary web course description only.  The department reserves the right to change without notice any information in this description.  The final, binding course outline will be distributed in the first class of the semester.