UNA Pressroom

Una Unveils New Graduate Concentration In Public History

Jul. 03, 2012

Michelle Eubanks, UNA, at media@una.edu, 256.765.4392 or 256.606.2033

FLORENCE, Ala. - The University of North Alabama recently received approval from the Alabama Commission on Higher Education (ACHE) to offer a graduate concentration in public history. The public history concentration will be offered through the university's Master of Arts program in history, which has been offered since 2007. Public history is a growing field encompassing tourism, economic development and historical preservation and conservation. Career opportunities in the field include museums, historic preservation organizations, historic sites and historical agencies at various levels of government. UNA will be the second university in Alabama to offer a graduate-level public history concentration, joining Auburn University. Dr. Christopher Maynard, chair of UNA's Department of History and Political Science, said he is confident of the positive changes this program will bring to UNA and the surrounding community. The concentration in public history will help link UNA's history program with the Muscle Shoals National Heritage Area (MSNHA). The MSNHA, which operates on the UNA campus, was officially designated by Congress in 2009.The heritage area spans across six counties within the Tennessee River waterbasin of North Alabama and was developed to preserve the history of this region. The MSNHA is the only National Heritage Area in the state of Alabama and offers unique opportunities for UNA students, including internships, residencies, workshops and other types of experiential learning and networking. UNA has hired Dr. Carolyn Barske to lead the public history concentration and to provide professional expertise for local historical sites and organizations. "Dr. Barske will be a tremendous resource, not only for the university, but also for the community. In turn, we will be able to attract a large number of students to the North Alabama region to study public history," Maynard said. Public history students will meet a 33-hour requirement for a M.A. in history, which will include 12 hours of electives in public history. Electives will include public history, oral history, digital history, historic preservation and cultural resource management, museum and archival management, and a public history internship. For more information on the new graduate concentration in public history at UNA, contact the Department of History and Political Science at 256-765-4306.