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Public History Capstone (HST 7XX)

Students in the public history track will be expected to enroll in HST 7xx, a public history capstone worth 3 credits, in their final semester.

1. Students will produce a public history project conceived in consultation with their project advisor.  Projects can include: a virtual exhibit and catalogue designed around historical objects and aimed at a public history audience; a website based on a non-material topic in public history and designed for a public history audience; an essay aimed at public history scholars; an essay or report based on a substantial internship experience in a public history environment such as a museum or local historical society; an oral history project culminating in a website or other form of exhibit.  Projects can be virtual (on the web), digital (a video or photographic product), or material (a physical exhibit).


2. All projects must, however, have a formal written component of at least fifteen pages.  Stand-alone essays (essays not accompanied by a substantial virtual, digital or other component) must be at least thirty pages in length.


3. The public history capstone is capped off by an oral defense by the committee.


4. The public history capstone is graded.  A “B” is necessary to pass and to fulfill the requirements of the MA program.


EXPECTATIONS for History 7xx (Public History Capstone)

Student must fulfill the following:

  • Ask two faculty to serve on your committee who are appropriate for your topic (if you do not know who to ask please ask the graduate director for advice).
  • Present them with possible project.
  • Present them with a list of previously read books/articles in graduate classes or internship experiences that connect with the project and topic.
  • Finalize this project with your first reader and present a revised and augmented list of possible sources, resources and bibliography.
  • Meet regularly throughout the semester/summer with your first reader.
  • Submit drafts (number specified by first reader) of the written portion of the work to the first reader.
  • Submit updates of the project (be it virtual or material) to your first reader
  • Submit a final draft and project to both readers in plenty of time for revisions prior to filing deadline.
  • Schedule an oral defense prior to filing deadline.

Faculty readers must fulfill the following:

  • The first reader must provide clear grading criteria in the contract.
  • The first reader will help the student shape the project and its topic, suggest added sources and approve of the final project.
  • The first reader will return drafts of the essay in time for the student to make revisions needed to graduate at an agreed date.
  • The first reader will provide feedback on the project and its conceptualization.
  • The second reader will return final draft of the essay and project with comments in time for the student to make revisions.

Last Updated 11/9/12


History major Gabrielle Brannigan received a scholarship to enter the MA program in Social Studies and Special Education at the University of Rochester's Warner School of Education.

Dr. Takashi Nishiyama has published a book, Engineering War and Peace in Modern Japan, 1868-1964 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014).

Dr. Takashi Nishiyama was interviewed by Mainichi, a major national newspaper in Japan, for the Oct. 3, 2014, issue.

The department hosted an NEH Workshop, Rochester Reform Trail, for K-12 teachers in July 2014.

History major Amy Freeman has published an article on the Eastman Dental Dispensary in the Democrat and Chronicle.

Dr. Takashi Nishiyama was interviewed by Yomuiri, a major national newspaper in Japan.

Dr. Ken O'Brien has been named a SUNY Provost Fellow for the 2013-2014 year.

Dr. Bruce Leslie has been named a SUNY Distinguished Service Professor.


The Malik Lecture will be held on Thursday, February 12, 2015, at 7 pm at the Tower Fine Arts Center Mainstage.

The Robert Marcus Lecture will be held on Wednesday, April 15, 2015, at 7:30 pm in the lecture hall (room 104) of the Liberal Arts Building.