July 28, 2017 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

A unique new program, the first of its kind in Canada, is giving undergraduate students a chance to explore how history is understood by and communicated to the public.

The newly launched Minor in Public History is a joint program offered by Huron University College, King's University College and Western University. The minor is the first of its kind in Canada at the undergraduate level.

Public History is built upon a blend of theory, historiography, hands-on practice, community based learning and mentorship. Public history explores how history is understood by and communicated to the public, whether at museums, archives, historical sites and national parks, in films, fiction, or on the web, in policy making, historical consulting, and in academic teaching and research.

“I want my students to understand that history is constantly being created – all around us, all the time. Not just in the classroom or in books, but by people and families and communities. I want them to go out and engage with public history and to recognize why history matters,” said Amy Bell, Professor of History at Huron University College.

“Public history is a powerful tool for understanding the forces that shape our world, and for making informed decisions as engaged, responsible citizens,” said Robert Ventresca, Professor of History at King’s University College.

Completion of the program requires students to take courses from each of the three schools, and provides a broad approach to the discipline that will position students for success in post-graduate studies or careers that focus on bringing history to life for the community.

Western’s Department of History also offers a Master’s in Public History, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2017, making it the oldest Public History program in Canada.

“Western's Public History minor will assist students seeking careers in museums, archives, and in cultural and heritage organizations,” said Michelle Hamilton, Professor of History at Western University, and Director of the MA in Public History.

Kassandra Hanslep completed her BA in History in 2016, including some courses in Public History and applied her education to her career.

“Now pursuing a museum career, exposure to public history opened my eyes to how I could apply my love of history outside of traditional academia,” said Hanslep.

About Huron University College

For more than 150 years, Huron University College has challenged students to be Leaders with Heart. With a focus on providing a well-rounded Liberal Arts education, Huron strives to be the best strategically small institution in Canada. The Huron experience equips students with the tools to be agents of change who receive faculty mentorship and unparalleled research opportunities from day one. 

About King’s University College

King's is a Catholic University College committed to the ongoing creation of a vital academic community animated by a Christian love of learning and the pursuit of truth. The College strives to foster an environment based on open inquiry, Christian values and service to the larger community.

About the Department of History at Western University

Western's History Department provides a diverse and dynamic environment for undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty, offering a wide array of educational opportunities. Western's History Department is currently one of the largest in Canada and offers a wide variety of courses.