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Public History Faculty

Program Faculty

Marty Blatt

Program Director and Professor of the Practice of History


Marty Blatt has more than twenty-five years of experience in public history, most recently as the Chief of Cultural Resources / Historian for Boston National Historical Park. A former president of the National Council of Public History, Blatt began his career at the Lowell National Historical Park. He has authored or edited five books, and he received his Ph.D. in American Studies from Boston University.

Cameron Blevins

Assistant Professor of History


Cameron Blevins is an assistant professor of history at Northeastern University studying the nineteenth-century United States, the American West, and digital history. He received his Ph.D. from Stanford University, where he worked at the Spatial History Project and Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (CESTA), after which he was a postdoctoral fellow in Rutgers University’s history department and the Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis. His project, Gossamer Network, presents a spatial interpretation of the western United States and the American state by mapping the sprawling infrastructure of the nation’s nineteenth-century postal network. Some of his broader interests include geography, communications, gender history, and information visualization.

Jeffrey Burds

Associate Professor of History


A historian of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, Jeffrey Burds has written extensively on memory, archives, espionage, and violence. He was a principal investigator for the Soviet Archive Project, a joint collaborative effort with Russian scholars and archivists to produce and publish detailed inventories of archival collections in Moscow, and has extensive experience training students in archival practice. He is the author of Peasant Dreams and Market Politics: Labor Migration and the Russian Village, 1861 - 1905, and he received his Ph.D. in History from Yale.

Victoria Cain

Assistant Professor of History


Victoria Cain is a historian of popular knowledge and visual culture in the United States, and takes special interest in museums and historic sites. She has served as an advisory scholar on multiple exhibits and public history projects, most recently for the Longfellow House / Washington's Headquarters National Historic Site, and she is the co-author of Life on Display: Revolutionizing U.S. Museums of Nature and Science. She received her Ph.D. in history from Columbia.

Gretchen Heefner

Associate Professor of History


Gretchen Heefner is a historian of the U.S., who focuses on the Cold War, memory, and the presence of the military in everyday life. After publishing her first book, The Missile Next Door: Cold War Minuteman in the America Heartland, she has been engaged in a variety of public history endeavors, including working with the National Park Service to interpret the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site. She is currently a historical advisor on a digital atlas exploring Cold War sites across the country. She received her Ph.D. from Yale.

Chris Parsons

Assistant Professor of History


Chris Parsons is a historian of environmental and scientific knowledge in the Atlantic world. He has served as an expert witness in indigenous affairs and has contributed to the Museum of Civilization's Virtual Museum. His book, Cultivating a New France: Knowledge, Empire and Environment in the French Atlantic World, will be published in 2017. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of Toronto.

Affiliated Faculty

Alezsu Bajak



Aleszu Bajak teaches journalism, design, data visualization and programming at Northeastern. He is the editor of Storybench.org, an under the hood guide to digital storytelling, and LatinAmericanScience.org, a resource for science news and opinion out of Latin America. In 2015, he launched and edited Esquire Classic, the digital archive of Esquire magazine. His writing has appeared in The Washington Post, Esquire, Nature, Science, New Scientist, Beer Advocate, and Guernica.

Nicholas Brown



Nick Brown teaches in the Urban Landscape Program and the Department of History at Northeastern University. An artist and activist interested in cultural landscapes, his current projects include A People's Guide to Firsting and Lasting in Boston, which documents the "erasure" of indigenous peoples in and around Boston, and Ioway City, a walking tour that explores Native American histories and ongoing presence in Iowa City. Brown holds a Ph.D. in Landscape Architecture (History & Theory) from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, a M.F.A. degree from UIUC's School of Art & Design, and a B.A. from Carleton College.

Margaret Burnham

Law and Restorative Justice


Law professor Margaret Burnham is an expert in civil and human rights and the founder of the School of Law’s Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project (CRRJ), which addresses injustices resulting from anti-civil rights violence in the South during the 1950s to the early 1970s. Formerly an attorney for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and a partner for a Boston law firm with an international human rights practice, Burnham was appointed by South African president Nelson Mandela in 1993 to serve on the international human rights commission that was the precursor to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. She received a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

Laurel Leff

Journalism, Jewish Studies


Laurel Leff, formerly a reporter for the Wall Street Journal and The Miami Herald, focuses on nonfiction writing and reporting. Author of the prize-winning 2005 book, Buried by The Times: The Holocaust and America’s Most Important Newspaper, Leff is currently researching the response of American elites to pleas to rescue European Jews during the 1930s and 1940s. She holds a law degree from Yale and an MA in communications from the University of Miami.

Dietmar Offenhuber

Art and Design, Public Policy


An artist, designer, and urban planner, Dietmar Offenhuber heads Northeastern’s graduate program in Information Design and Visualization. His research focuses on the role of visualization and representation in urban governance and civic discourse; he has authored three books, curated multiple exhibitions, and developed films and installations on the subject. He holds a Ph.D. in Urban Planning and an MS in Media Arts and Sciences from MIT, as well as an architecture degree from the Technical University Vienna.

Rose Zoltek-Jick

Law and Restorative Justice

Rose Zoltek-Jick, an expert on civil rights and cold cases, is the associate director of the School of Law’s Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project (CRRJ). There, she works with students to recover and analyze evidence of cold cases related to anti-civil rights violence. Zoltek-Jick, Burnham and their team help communities develop plans for remediation and reconciliation, including prosecution, truth and reconciliation proceedings, state pardons, and apologies from those responsible for past violence. Zoltek-Jick holds degrees from Harvard Law School and Osgoode Hall Law School.