Welcome to Public History

Welcome to the Public History Concentration at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

The Public History concentration within UNC Charlotte’s graduate history program offers students a unique combination of courses, as well as opportunities to learn new skills. In addition to our core courses in digital history, historic preservation and museum studies, students may also take electives in other programs such as Public Policy, Architecture, and Public Administration. The program’s new media emphasis helps students consider how new media can transform the public presentation of history while learning the digital skills to craft multimedia presentations of their work. It allows students interested in a variety of historical fields to create public history projects. Public historians with digital skills are competitive in the public history job market; moreover, the combination of traditional history training with these skills offers graduates a variety of alternative career choices in, for example, web development, public relations, and business. (Note: Students are not expected to have new media expertise upon entering the program.)


Dr. Karen Cox will offer a public history elective on Heritage Tourism in Spring 2015.

Dr. Dan Morrill will run the Video Production and Editing Public History Elective in Spring 2014. Check out his new documentary Public Art: A Piedmont Case Study.

Professor Aaron Shapiro joined the History Department in August 2013 as the new Director of Public History.  Professor Shapiro is a practitioner and scholar of public history and comes to UNCC after starting and directing the public history program at Auburn University and previously serving as national historian for the U. S. Forest Service in Washington DC.

The Public History Lab is now equipped with new Zoom H4n portable digital recorders to use for oral history projects, several new software packages, and additional hardware.

Nicole Moore, a 2008 graduate of our public history program, received a 2011 New Professional Award from the National Council on Public History.  

Drs. Dan Morrill and Karen Flint won a SOTL grant in 2011 to update our media lab with state of the art digital video cameras, microphones, tripods, lighting equipment, computer equipment and Final Cut Pro software.  This equipment is available to public history graduate students working on video documentaries for the project component of their thesis.   

In Spring 2010, Wells Fargo donated $10,000 to the Department of History to hire a public history graduate student to assist with research for the upcoming Wells Fargo Museum in Charlotte.

Brandon Lunsford, a graduate student in public history, authored the book Charlotte: Then and Now.  It was released by Thunder Bay Press in 2009.

"History at Light Speed: Discovering Charlotte's Northeast Corridor" has won the 2009 Student Project Award from the National Council on Public History.  Kristin Foster and Hannah Howard, who submitted the project on behalf of the Spring 2008 museum studies class that produced it, attended the NCPH annual meeting in April where they received the award. See the article in Transitions.