2021 Heritage Studies and Public History Capstone Presentations

April 30, 2021

On Wednesday, May 5 from 3:30 to 6:30 PM the 2021 Heritage Students and Public History class will virtually present their capstone projects. These presentations are open to the public and can be viewed by accessing this Zoom link on May 5. See the presentation schedule and learn more about the capstones below.

Focused on a wide range of communities throughout the Twin Cities and Minnesota, these 12 projects encompass everything from archaeological assessments, collections management, oral history, exhibitions, main street revitalization, historic site interpretation, and more.

Presentation Schedule

3:40 PM | Jessica Carter and Jacob NobleHuman Toll: A Public History of 35W

Human Toll: A Public History of 35W is an exhibit opening at the Hennepin History Museum in September 2021. The exhibit is one part of A Public History of 35W, a collaborative project between the South Minneapolis community, the Hennepin History Museum, and the Heritage Studies and Public History program at the University of Minnesota.

While the history and construction practices of freeways themselves are often well documented, the effects this construction had on surrounding communities are less well known. Why was South Minneapolis chosen as the route for 35W? Who called the neighborhood home? Where did those displaced by the freeway go? What happened to the buildings in its path? What have been the long-term impacts of a freeway on the neighborhood? A Public History of 35W aims to both answer these questions for South Minneapolis and to provide a roadmap for how other communities can do the same.

4:00 PM | Natalie HeneghanRural Rehab Toolbox: A Guide for Taking Care of Old Buildings

This capstone project is a digital toolbox for rural building rehabbers. The toolbox is designed to inspire and guide the work of people investing in their communities through building revitalization, particularly those who are new to these types of projects or who traditionally do not have access to building rehab resources. The project also involves the creation of a new podcast called StoryBuilding, designed to share stories of rural rehabbers and building stewards.

4:15 PM | Keyah AdamsExamining Environmental and Land Use Impacts: A Risk Assessment of Camp Cold Water

To date, very few studies have been conducted to understand the environmental and cultural impacts to Minnesota’s archaeological resources. The goal of this project is to study and document immediate and long-term environmental and cultural impacts to the Camp Cold Water (Mni Owe Sni) site in Hennepin county. Specifically, the project identified archaeological resources at risk and developed plans to prioritize research and preservation options based on these assessments. This project is a collaborative effort with the Minnesota Historical Society as part of a larger project within the archaeology department.

4:30 PM | Jacob BernierWhy Canoes? An Online Representation of the Physical Exhibit

This project initially came about in the summer of 2019, when I was approached by Greg Donofrio to see if there was any interest in creating an exhibit centering on Indigenous watercraft. I jumped at the opportunity. A primary goal was to help bring to the forefront the work that various canoe communities around Mni Sota have been doing in regards to revitalization efforts. Now that the physical exhibit is open to the public, I (and others) think that it is important to make the exhibit available to those who are not able to visit the physical space. This will be achieved by presenting it online via a 360° tour. The digital tour of Why Canoes? Capacious Vessels and Indigenous Futures of Minnesota's Peoples and Places will provide additional audio and visual components as well as offer people from across the globe access to the content.

4:45 PM | Kaytlyn LundstromJeffers Petroglyphs, An Oral History Initiative

The goal of the Jeffers Petroglyphs Oral History Initiative is to expand upon the Jeffers Petroglyphs Podcast, an oral history project initiated in 2009. The podcast aimed to record oral histories relevant to the site and make them accessible via YouTube. This project seeks to expand upon that by providing additional ways to interact with the site digitally using Esri StoryMaps as a platform.

5:00 PM | Esteban Perez CortezDe La Clase Trabajadora Oral History Project

De La Clase Trabajadora consists of 13 interviews with Mexican immigrants, both male and female. The goal is to highlight not only my project, but others done before mine and to continue to collect the stories of any and all immigrants in Minnesota. It all culminates with an in-person display at Midtown Global Market, a GIS Map, infographics, and a website showcasing the stories.

5:15 PM | Kas FilbertPlanning for Accessibility with Hennepin History Museum

Like many local history museums, Hennepin History Museum is housed in a historic building that does not meet ADA standards. In working with museum staff, Filbert has been working to identify areas where they can improve accessibility in their current building and through offsite and digital programming means.

5:30 PM | Patricia O'LearyBringing Environmental Justice Education and Advocacy Online

O'Leary interned at the Bell Museum to create three online panel discussions and three online interviews. This work is based on the Bell Museum exhibit, Climates of Inequality: Stories of Environmental Justice, created by Humanities Action Lab (HAL). This capstone project showcases online webinars that O'Leary organized, featuring community activists, scholars, and students. The webinars will be the Bell Museum's platform to demonstrate strategies for overcoming climate inequality.

5:45 PM | Laura MeierLet’s Talk Collections: Bringing Minnesota Archaeology Online

A collaborative project with the Minnesota Historical Society, Let’s Talk Collections seeks to address the need to better include and engage diverse public audiences with archaeological collections. With a focus on the organization’s recent efforts to digitize its historical archaeology comparative collection, this multi-faceted project provides preliminary components, including an ArcGIS WebApp, and recommendations for a new digital resource informed by community feedback.

6:00 PM | Acoma Gaither and Andrea ManolovMutual Aid in the Twin Cities: A Community-Curated Exhibition History for the Future Project

During the uprisings in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and in the midst of escalating economic impacts of COVID-19 a blossoming of mutual aid practices, networks, and visions grew across the Twin Cities. During the summer of 2020, students, faculty, and community partners of the University of Minnesota’s Heritage Studies and Public History program and the Minnesota Youth Story Squad conducted oral history interviews and received training from local artists and media organizations to document community responses to crises. History for the Future emerged from efforts to situate present-day mutual aid organizing in the Twin Cities into longer histories of community care, political activism, and the ongoing work of building radical futures.

More about the HSPH program

HSPH is made possible by a partnership between the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota Historical Society. The program includes three tracks: Archaeological Heritage, Historic Preservation, and Public History. Theory and practice are combined to foreground diversity, interdisciplinary inquiry, experiential learning, and community engagement. We train future generations of scholars and practitioners in the field to develop new, innovative, and entrepreneurial forms of historical interpretation.

HSPH 8004, the capstone course for the HSPH master's program, operates like a workshop, drawing together a cohort of students, working individually or as part of a team, to craft independent heritage studies and public history research projects under the supervision of the faculty instructors. Consistent with the program's values, resulting projects demonstrate multidisciplinary perspectives, broadly consider aspects of diversity, and are accountable to stakeholders identified by the students.

Funding to support projects developed by capstone students in collaboration with their community partners was provided by a grant to HSPH from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded a $500,000 grant to the University of Minnesota for the interdisciplinary Heritage Studies and Public History (HSPH) graduate program.

On display at the Hennepin History Museum, Owning Up: Racism and Housing in Minneapolis explores the history of racial housing discrimination in Minneapolis through the stories of three Black families.

Next fall marks the start of a new program for the College of Design, the masters in heritage studies and public history (HSPH). In partnership with the College of Liberal Arts and the Minnesota Historical Society (MNHS), HSPH combines hands-on professional development with rigorous scholarly training.