Our program brings together the craft of the historian and the theory and skills of public practice. Students hone the skills of the discipline—posing questions, interrogating evidence, building interpretations, writing assertively—and learn how to apply them in public settings for a wide range of audiences. The program also trains students to conduct oral interviews, interpret images and documentary evidence, deploy digital tools, “read” material culture, decode buildings and landscapes, and analyze how citizens use history in their daily lives.
Just theorizing about how to reach communities isn’t enough. Every semester the students complete projects, start-to-finish, that make a difference in our region—opening a museum exhibit, documenting overlooked communities through oral history, creating tours of historic neighborhoods, organizing the collections of an understaffed local museum, designing interactive websites, and helping a Main Street get on the national register. See “Featured Projects” for some of our recent work.
UNCG's program serves as a significant resource for the region. Through public programs, classroom projects, and internships, we have built ongoing relationships with area history organizations—from the International Civil Rights Center and Museum to Old Salem, the Greensboro Historical Museum, the High Point Museum, and the National Park Service's Guilford Courthouse National Military Park.
Our program prizes community among its participants. We build a spirit of collaboration and support, not cut-throat competition. After all, almost every kind of public work involves working closely with colleagues.
Participation from a range of faculty gives our program breadth. We put a premium on good teaching, and faculty members go out of their way to make themselves available and accessible to our students.