Last semester, I taught a course on public history called “History Outside of the Classroom.” This was my first time teaching that course–really, it was my first time teaching that kind of course at all. I was interested in it, though, because I thought that the pandemic presented a unique opportunity for students to do a different kind of historical work than they usually do in my classrooms.
So, I organized the class around gathering materials for an online exhibition about the Merrimack community’s experiences during the pandemic. Students were tasked with legally and ethically acquiring relevant artifacts and interviews, as well as preparing them for exhibition. Altogether, they did a fantastic job–as I told them repeatedly, I think they created something of real historical value. I’m very pleased to now share their work with the public. Please have a look at Experiencing the Pandemic: a Merrimack College Public History Project.