Jeff Strickland, History department Chair, and Nancy Carnevale, associate professor, were recently awarded a nearly $150K grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for their project titled, “Inclusive Public History: A Faculty Development and Student Engagement.” The project, one of 204 humanities projects funded nationwide, will support a three-year faculty study and student engagement program to strengthen and expand the university’s concentration in digital and public history.
The Inclusive Public History project entails faculty development, curriculum development, and student enrichment activities. The project focuses on the history of racial and ethnic groups in the United States, as it mirrors our student interests and demographics. First, the project will train faculty in public history research, methods, and scholarship through a shared reading program and guest speakers. In turn, faculty will create courses in public and digital history as well as incorporate best public history practices into their existing courses. Second, the project will enrich student educational experiences by establishing opportunities for place-based learning at public history sites and museums throughout New Jersey, New York City, and Washington DC. Importantly, faculty will gain practical experience as they lead students on site visits. The history department will further develop its curriculum in permanently establishing a place-based learning opportunity in our courses.
Jeff Strickland asserted, “Many history departments across the country, including ours, have recently begun to offer an applied history curriculum. This NEH Humanities Initiatives grant has a strong faculty development piece that will help train faculty to design a curriculum that will better engage our increasingly diverse student-body. Importantly, leading academic historians and public historians from universities around the United States will share an equal role in that faculty development process. Ultimately, we anticipate our faculty will teach a more inclusive, equitable curriculum that will improve student success and lead to enrollment growth.”
Nancy Carnevale stated, “The Inclusive Public History Project will offer students an exciting opportunity to visit public history sites and museums where they will learn how public historians are telling more inclusive stories about our nation’s history than students ordinarily hear. At a moment when how history is taught and remembered has become a subject of intense debate, this project could not be more timely.”