Coming to a Crossroads: Public Historians, Identities and Statewide Mythologies

Endorsed by the OAH Committee on Academic Freedom and the Western History Association

Saturday, April 1, 2023, 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Type: Roundtable Discussion

Tags: Ethnicity; Local and Community History; Public History and Memory


This panel includes public historians who engage with their local communities to address the dominant narratives of statewide historical identities and mythologies. Themes include the impact of the recent culture wars on our projects and public education, such as Texas and Oklahoma with Critical Race Theory, to the masking of “deep blue states” with sanctioned statewide narratives that avoid and silence issues of slavery, racism, and xenophobia.

Session Participants

Chair and Panelist: Devin Hunter, University of Illinois Springfield
Devin Hunter is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Illinois Springfield, where he teaches public history and 20th century United States history. His research interests include community identity formation, urban history, and the history of commemoration. Hunter's professional experience includes a stint at the National Archives, and he has served on the board of the Illinois State Historical Society and the Illinois State Historic Sites Advisory Council, among other affiliations. His book The American Dream Gone Berserk: Postwar Politics and Cultural Diversity in Uptown Chicago will be published by University of Illinois Press in 2022 or 2023.

Panelist: Andrew Duncan McGregor, Dallas College
Andrew McGregor is a Professor of History at the Mountain View Campus of Dallas College where he uses local history to help students see how the past has shaped the world around them. His research explores race, sports, politics as a way to understand the development of postwar Oklahoma.

Panelist: Shine Trabucco, University of Houston
Shine Trabucco is a PhD History student at the University of Houston. She received a BA in Anthropology from Southwestern University and MA in Public History at St. Mary’s University of San Antonio. Trabuco’s research is about historical preservation, space and place, and urban history in Texas. Her research interests include spatial analysis, GIS, oral history, environmental history, digital history, and social history