Welcome to Northeastern University’s M.A. Program in Public History! My name is Dr. Angel David Nieves and I am the Director of the Public History Program. I am beginning my second-year as its Director (still very much a newbie), and in many ways I feel like it is my first-year on campus! This is a dynamic and robust community of scholar-practitioners and new knowledge-makers!
This is an exciting time to be a part of an interdisciplinary M.A. Program in the College of Social Sciences and Humanities (CSSH). This Program will prepare you for a career in public history with a deep commitment to social justice and in the use of digital tools, methods, and technologies in historical scholarship. As scholar-practitioners in the field of public history within the Department of History, we find ourselves in a truly transformational moment in all our lives because of the spread of COVID-19, the continuing impact of global warming, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the many rapid changes brought on by our interconnected global economy. All forms of cultural, artistic, and heritage organizations across the U.S. and elsewhere are in need of future graduates such as yourselves who will be nimble, who will be trained across a number of interdisciplinary methodologies, and who will participate in community-engaged forms of public humanities practices.
As we return to campus, we will begin to have more face-to-face opportunities to meet and learn from one another. Our “Speaker Series in Public History” will resume in February (2022) along with a number of other programs hosted by the History Department, so please keep an eye out for those emails! The Public History Program is particularly excited to welcome Dr. Kabria Baumgartner who joins us this fall as Dean’s Associate Professor of History & Africana Studies and as Associate Director of the Public History Program. She will be on a research-leave this fall at the Massachusetts Historical Society and returns in the spring. When she returns in spring 2022, she will be working with our M.A. students as they seek to secure public history fieldwork placements in the region. We look forward to having her as part of our growing public history community.
As the Program Director, I am looking forward to meeting you all in person and/or virtually, and I look forward to working with each and every one of you over the coming academic year. At Northeastern I am Professor of Africana Studies, History, Digital Humanities, and English with appointments in the Departments of History; Cultures, Societies, and Global Studies (CSGS); and English. I am also an Affiliate of the NULab for Texts, Maps & Networks, the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, and of the Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project (CRRJ). I am also leading the College’s Public Humanities efforts and am looking forward to sharing more information on its activities over the coming months. I mention all these roles because you’ll find that so MANY of our faculty, especially those in the History Department working in public history, wear many hats on campus and are involved in a variety of exciting centers, programs, research collaborations, and initiatives that reflect the interdisciplinary nature of our scholarship and our commitment to public engagement. My colleagues including Drs. Blatt, Cain, Cohen, Heefner, Linker, Parsons, Poiger, and Rabinovitch (to name a few) are all deeply committed to innovative scholarship in public history.
I look forward to the fall semester, while also being cautiously optimistic. I wanted to reassure you with every confidence that we are following health and safety protocols as we all continue to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Please feel free to reach out and introduce yourselves to me over email. I want to encourage all prospective M.A. and Ph.D. students to also reach out over email should they have any questions about our exciting array of programs in public history, digital humanities, and community engagement.