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ERIC Number: EJ1043393
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Apr-25
Pages: N/A
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1938-5978
Recasting History: The Public Option
Salerno, Beth
New England Journal of Higher Education, Apr 2014
If you ask Americans what is studied in history classrooms, many will answer "facts and dates." If you ask them what people can do with a history degree, they answer "teach." Yet those same Americans acknowledge the power and practical relevance of history as they flock to national parks, historic sites, museums, and cultural heritage sites; buy nationally best-selling biographies; see history-infused films like "Twelve Years a Slave," or any of documentarian Ken Burns' epics; or research their family history within a larger context of national trends. Among the humanities disciplines, history has a broad and positive public profile, even as the number of majors rises and falls with economic indicators. History programs are increasingly taking advantage of that public enthusiasm for the past to strengthen the discipline's academic reach and successfully compete for majors and funding when much of the federal and institutional attention is on STEM programs or career preparation. In this article, Beth Salerno leads a discussion about creating history courses in response to requests from students that lead them to specific career paths in public history such as museum curation, the national park service, or archival work.
New England Board of Higher Education. 45 Temple Place, Boston, MA 02111. Tel: 617-357-9620; Fax: 617-338-1577; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A