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Public Engagement

We are committed to history in the public service. This permeates all aspects of the History Department: undergraduate classrooms, graduate student training, faculty research, extracurricular programs, and community partnerships. From public history projects that engage broad audiences with historical scholarship to cutting-edge digital humanities initiatives with community partners, U-M History is redefining what it means to “do” history at a top-ranked public university.

Our public engagement projects demonstrate how history matters in the wider world. They transform students into public scholars, helping them develop transferable skills that can apply to a range of careers: digital literacy, communication to broader audiences, intellectual self-confidence, quantitative literacy, and collaboration.

U-M History faculty and students are active in the public sphere, publishing collaborative digital scholarship, developing museum exhibits, writing op-eds for major newspapers, partnering with communities on research projects, leading globally reknown foreign policy blogs, and more.

At the department level, U-M History coordinates three flagship public engagement programs:

  • U-M HistoryLabs: Team-based, collaborative research projects—often with a major community partner—that address real-world challenges while providing career-enhancing skills to undergraduate and graduate students
  • Michigan in the World: Paid undergraduate internship program in partnership with the Bentley Historical Library where students develop online, public exhibitions of research about the history of U-M and its relationships with the wider world
  • Reverb Effect: Graduate student-produced podcast showcasing faculty and student research and exploring contemporary issues in historical scholarship

U-M History is committed to supporting faculty who coordinate public engagement projects and providing the opportunity for every History student—undergraduate and graduate—to join these initiatives through classroom, extracurricular, and other programs.