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Public History Program


Public History In The News

Public History Program Welcomes New Faculty

The Public History Program and History Department are pleased to welcome two new faculty members this fall: Dr. Ruby Oram and Dr. Justin Randolph.

Dr. Ruby Oram joins the department as a public historian specializing in local and community history. She worked with several cultural institutions in Chicago before arriving to Texas State including the Chicago Architecture Center, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Newberry Library. Oram’s research bridges the fields of public history, urban history, gender history, and the history of education in twentieth-century America. She has organized public programs in Chicago highlighting school architecture and neighborhood history, and is currently nominating a group of single-sex public schools to the National Register of Historic Places. Oram received her PhD from the U.S. and Public History program at Loyola University Chicago.

Dr. Justin Randolph joins the department as a specialist in oral history. He has conducted interviews for numerous projects, with focuses ranging from farmers to white collar professionals. In addition to teaching oral history, Randolph specializes in twentieth-century U.S. history, the carceral state, and the American South. His first book project, "Civil Rights Arrested: Black Freedom Movements and the Police in Rural Mississippi, 1890 to 1980," combines original oral history and state police archives to place police violence at the center of local civil rights activism. Randolph received his PhD from Yale University in May 2020.

Public History Graduate Students Publish Intersect Journal

In the spring semester of 2020, the graduate Public History Project class teamed up to write a journal that examined the vestiges of Jim Crow segregation in Central Texas. The project began as any other but quickly evolved as the COVID19 pandemic hit. Now, as our country faces serious questions about racism and inequality, Intersect Journal offers new perspectives and untold stories of Black communities in Central Texas. 

Public History Students Working with Texas Historical Commission

Public History Masters student, Ms. Katherine Bansemer and History undergraduate, Ms. Lezlie Hernandez are serving as Preservation Scholars at the Texas Historical Commission this summer. Ms. Bansemer is working with Museum Services Program and Ms. Hernandez is working with the Historical Markers Program. They are each working on unique projects that will advance the mission of their respective programs.

The Preservation Scholars Program is an internship program overseen by the Friends of the Texas Historical Commission who's goal is, "to build interest in historic preservation among students from underrepresented cultural and ethnic groups, engaging a wider range of communities and perspectives in the effort to discover and share Texas’ historical narrative."

Learning History and Community through the Preservation of an African-American Cemetery

Congratulations to Jason Rivas on the recent publication of his article stemming from his Preservation Scholar internship with the Texas Historical Commission. His work included highlighting cemetery preservation success stories to showcase how locals can make a lasting impact through historic preservation. This article explores how extension agent Eddie Harrison and the community saved the nearly-lost Camptown African-American Cemetery in Brenham, TX, and along the way helped preserve the local history of runaway slaves and freedmen.

TXSU Center for Texas Public History News

Shield Ranch, Austin, TX, has been formally listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Public History students prepared two historical site reports that supported the designation, under the Direction of Professor Dan Utley and the Center for Texas Public History.

  • Whatever Floats Your Goat: A Historic Site Report of the Goat Barn Complex at the Shield Ranch (2018)
  • Dos Hermanos: The Herrera Families at Shield Ranch (2019)

The district is comprised of various resources, including houses, agricultural structures, a cemetery, roads and stream crossings, and archeological sites. The majority of the sites date to the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The ranch is located in a rapidly developing area of western Travis County near Bee Cave.

Whatever Floats Your Goat, project flyerDos Hermanos, Project Image

Graduate Students Present at PAT Biennial Conference

Graduate students Rayanna Hoeft, Jason J. Rivas, and Courtney Stevens recently presented papers drafted in Dr. Nancy Berlage’s Public Memory class at the 2020 Phi Alpha Theta Biennial Conference.  

  • Rayanna Hoeft | Interpreting Commemorative Monuments: Elizabeth Colt's Memorialization of Samuel Colt (left)
  • Jason J. Rivas | Brushstrokes of Memory: Remembering the Alamo through Paintings (center)
  • Courtney Stevens | The 1900 Galveston Storm Memorial (right)

Rayanna Hoeft at PAT Biennial MeetingJason Rivas at PAT Biennial MeetingCourtney Stevens at PAT Biennial Meeting

Public History News Archive