Reading List

The following list provides links to course readings as assigned on the updated syllabus; we may add to or subtract from it during the semester.

This page will reflect the most recent updates.

Tuesday, January 19: What is Public History?

Tuesday, January 26: Who Narrates History / BMC History Moment #1 – First Students

  • James Axtell, “History as Imagination,” in Beyond 1492: Encounters in Colonial North America (Oxford UP, 1992), 3-24. [link to eBook via Tripod]
  • Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz, Alma Mater: Design and Experience in the Women’s Colleges from Their Nineteenth-Century Beginnings to the 1930s: front matter, chapters on Bryn Mawr (105-133), and “The Life…” (147-78).
  • Linda M. Perkins, “The African American Female Elite: The Early History of African American Women in the Seven Sister Colleges, 1880-1960,” Harvard Educational Review 4 (Winter 1997): 718-756. [link to full text via BMC Libraries]
  • Karen Tidmarsh, “History of the Status of Minority Groups in the Bryn Mawr Student Body” (Fall 1988), RG 9LG, Diversity, Bryn Mawr College Archives, 1-8. [PDF]
  • Janice P. Nimura, Daughters of the Samurai: A Journey from East to West and Back (Norton, 2015), 225-77.

Tuesday, February 2: Power and the Production of History / Who is the Public?

  • Michel-Rolph Trouillot, Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (20th anniversary edition, Beacon Press, 2015), Chapters 1-3. [link to eBook via Tripod]
  • Benjamin Filene, “Passionate Histories: ‘Outsider’ History-Makers and What They Teach Us,” The Public Historian (February 2012): 11-33. [PDF]

Tuesday, February 9: Libraries, Archives, and their Publics

  • Nanci A. Young, “ ‘Educate a Girl?? You Might as Well Attempt to Educate a Cat!” Journal of Archival Organization 1.2 (2002): 53-64. [PDF]
  • Rodney G.S. Carter, “Of Things Said and Unsaid: Power, Archival Silences, and Power in Silence,” Archivaria 61 (September 2006): 215-233. [PDF]
  • Kimberly Springer, “Radical Archives and the New Cycles of Contention,” via (2015) [PDF]
  • Browse websites of Library Company of Philadelphia (including women’s and African American history programs) and John J. Wilcox Jr. Archives.
  • “Collection Development Policy,” John J. Wilcox, Jr. Archives, William Way LGBT Community Center (ca. 2015). [PDF]

For further reading:

  • Perspectives on Women’s Archives, ed. Tanya Zanish-Belcher with Anke Voss (Society of American Archivists, 2013), via HC Libraries. [link to table of contents]

Tuesday, February 16: The Library of the Future? Wikipedia and Public History / BMC History Moment #2 – Summer School for Working Women in Industry // class discussion with Jami Mathewson, Wiki Education Foundation

For further reading:

  • Roy Rosenzweig, “Can History be Open Source? Wikipedia and the Future of the Past,” originally published in The Journal of American History 93.1 (June 2006): 117-46. [link via CHNM]

Tuesday, February 23: Community Day of Learning – NO CLASS MEETING (blog as usual)

  • Screen: Dean Spade, “Trans Students at Women’s Colleges” on Vimeo (32 minutes, 2014), Barnard Center for Research on Women.
  • Begin reading Craig Steven Wilder, Ebony & Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities (2013) for next week.

Tuesday, March 1: Campus History as Public History

  • Ta-Nehisi Coates, “Hope and the Historian,” The (December 10, 2015)
  • Craig Steven Wilder, Ebony & Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities (2013)

For further viewing:

Craig Steven Wilder on Democracy Now! (44 minutes, 2013) — link.

Tuesday, March 8: NO CLASS – SPRING BREAK (Go find some history!)

Tuesday, March 15: Monuments and Memorials

  • Erika Doss, Memorial Mania: Public Feeling in America (2010), Introduction, Chapter 1, and Chapter 6 — 1-60, 313-376. [PDF via email]
  • Mason B. Williams, “The Crumbling Monuments of the Age of Marble,” The Atlantic (December 2015)
  • Timothy J. McMillan, “Remembering Forgetting: A Monument to Erasure at the University of North Carolina,” in Silence, Screen, and Spectacle: Rethinking Social Memory in the Age of Information (2014), 137-62. [PDF via Black at Bryn Mawr]

For further reading: 

Tuesday, March 22:  The “Diversity Box” / BMC History Moment #3 – 1969 //       Guest speakers Rachel Appel, Bryn Mawr College Digital Collections Librarian, and Jarrett Drake, Princeton University Digital Archivist.

For further reading (suggested by Rachel and Jarrett):

  • Ellen D. Swain, “An Activist Approach to the Collection and Use of Student Documents in the University Archives,” Journal of Archival Organization 2 (2004): 39-53.
  • Jessica L. Wagner and Debbi A. Smith, “Students as Donors to University Archives: A Study of Student Perceptions with Recommendations,” The American Archivist 75 (2012): 538-566.

jpgTuesday, March 29: The Power of Place: Making Meaning with Community Histories / Studio Visit with Erin Bernard, founder of Philadelphia Public History Truck (4007 W. Chestnut Street, Philadelphia)

  • Dolores Hayden, “Place Memory and Urban Preservation” in The Power of Place: Urban Landscapes as Public History (1995), 44-81. [PDF]
  • Laura Burd Schiavo, “Object Lessons: Making Meaning from Things in History Museums,” Exhibitionist (2013) 48-52. [link]
  • Stephanie Kingsley, “History on Wheels,” Perspectives on History 8 (November 2015): 14-15 [link] and browse Philadelphia History Truck website [link].
  • Erin Bernard, “Of Angels, Doves, and Oral History: Ethics and Trucking in Philadelphia,” in Art & the Public Sphere (December 2015). [PDF]
  • Erin Bernard, Philadelphia History Truck process and narrative [PDF]

For further reading:

  • Erin Bernard. “A Shared Mobility: Community Curatorial Process and the Philadelphia Public History Truck,” in Exhibitionist (2015).

Tuesday, April 5: Research Day [1 page Project Abstracts due Friday, April 8]  What are other campuses doing? What do you want to do?

  • Jen Jack Gieseking, “(Re)constructing women: scaled portrayals of privilege and gender norms on campus,” Area 3 (2007): 278-286. [PDF]
  • “‘Cataloging Fever’ Strikes Student Organizations,” Bryn Mawr Now (February 2004), link.
  • review National Council on Public History #campushistories working group contributions (2016)

Tuesday, April 12: Digital Memory, Public History? // Guest Speakers Purdom Linblad, UVA Scholars Lab, #TakeBacktheArchive and Rebecca Onion,

Content warning: Take Back the Archive addresses issues of sexual violence on campus.

Tuesday, April 19: Museums and Material Culture

  • Fred Wilson and Howard Halle, “Mining the Museum,” Grad Street 44 (January 1, 1993): 151-172. [link to PDF in tripod]
  • Lisa G. Corrin, “Mining the Museum: An Installation Confronting History,” Curator: The Museum Journal 36.4 (December 1993): 302-313. [PDF – Mining]
  • “Preface,” “The Truth of Material Culture: History or Fiction?,” “An Heirloom: Interpreting a GIlded Age Tortoiseshell Locket,” and “The Light of the Home: Dialectics of Gender in an Argand Lamp,” in Jules David Prown and Kenneth Haltman, American Artifacts: Essays in Material Culture (2000), ix – 27, 213-27, 243-51. [link to PDF]
  •  Jennifer Thigpen, “Desperately Seeking Mary: Materializing Mary Richardson Walker, Missionary” Report from the Field–Material Culture,  [PDF – Mary]

In the news:

African American museum designed with emotions in mind,” Washington Post (April 17, 2016)

For further reading:

Jules David Prown, “Mind in Matter: An Introduction to Material Culture Theory and Method,” Winterthur Portfolio 17.1 (Spring 1982): 1-19.

Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, Tangible Things: Making History through Objects (Oxford University Press, 2015)

Tuesday, April 26: Reflections on Campus History as Public History // Visit from Christiana Dobrzynski, Bryn Mawr College Archivist

  • review readings from April 5: (Re)constructing women, Cataloging Fever, and NCPH #campushistories.
  • blog your updated project proposal and signature image