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U-M HistoryLabs


U-M HistoryLabs mobilize the power of history for real-world impacts that contribute to the common good. Reimagining the humanities, U-M HistoryLabs bring together faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates as investigators and lab members in long-term research projects that involve both curricular and extracurricular components. Projects are often developed in collaboration with community partners.  

U-M HistoryLab students become coauthors of digital humanities and multimedia projects aimed at diverse public and academic audiences, gaining valuable career-related experiences in research, digital technology, and collaboration. Read "In the Public Eye," an LSA Magazine feature on the launch of U-M HistoryLabs. 

  • Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Veidlinger
  • Related Course: History 716: Collaborative Research in the Holocaust

Students work with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum to develop digital analytical materials based on the museum's archives for its online educational programming. Students develop research, critical analysis, and writing skills working in a collaborative, team-based approach to historical research methods and practices. The class travels to Washington, DC, to utilize the museum’s collections and to present to their stakeholders. Read about the project launch and the museum trip.

  • Principal Investigator: Jesse Hoffnung-Garskof
  • Related Courses: History 335: Immigration Law; History 477: Asylum and Refugee Law

In partnership with the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center, students apply their research skills in collaborative teams, working on actual (anonymized) cases of unaccompanied childhood arrivals. This lab's goal is a dedicated, open access digital repository available to attorneys defending asylum seekers anywhere in the United States. This will involve building the digital architecture and learning to collect, summarize, and code resources.

  • Principal Investigator: Matthew Lassiter
  • Related Courses: History 366: Crime and Drugs in Modern America; History 393: Cold Cases: Police Violence, Crime, and Racial Justice in Michigan

This HistoryLab addresses contemporary debates over mass incarceration and police misconduct by taking teams of undergraduate researchers to Detroit to excavate unsolved and/or unprosecuted episodes of racial violence throughout the twentieth century. Using archival collections and digitized databases, students will produce online investigative exhibits and interactive maps. Ultimately this lab will create a comprehensive database of thousands of police-civilian encounters and homicides in the city of Detroit and expand its coverage to other parts of Michigan.