History | Public History Field School

Sponsored by the John and Janet Creighton Public History Project, the Department of History at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington, will offer its public history field school from May 23 through June 10, 2016.

Professor Orlan Svingen and the Department of History received a high-impact research award from WSU benefactors John and Janet Creighton (PhD history ’04) to support a new, four-year outreach project connecting the WSU Public History Program with ongoing historical and cultural interpretive work by the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes and government groups in southwest Montana and east-central Idaho.

An extension of Dr. Svingen’s research and teaching agenda, the JJCPH Project will provide hands-on experiential learning opportunities for WSU undergraduate and graduate students interested in American Indian history and culture. Students will work collaboratively with Shoshone-Bannock tribal specialists, as well as historical and interpretive specialists from Virginia City, Montana, and Salmon, Idaho.

The 2016 Public History Field School will span three weeks, beginning Monday, May 23 in Virginia City, Montana.

  • Week 1 will be spent developing interpretive themes and signage drafts for three locations: the newly-formed Tendoy Park in Virginia City, Montana, the 1868 Territorial Headquarters Building (Tendoy’s Cession Document), and Laurin, Montana (1868 Virginia City Treaty site).
  • Week 2 begins on Monday, May 30 in Salmon, Idaho, where students will work in conjunction with the Sacajawea Interpretive, Cultural, Educational, and Events Center. The objective will be to develop draft-teaching units for the Center that enhances historical and cultural understanding of the Mixed-Bands of Shoshone, Bannock, and Sheepeater People whose aboriginal homeland includes both sides of Lemhi Pass.
  • Week 3 will be spent in Fort Hall, Idaho, at the Fort Hall Indian Reservation, home of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes. Working with the Language and Cultural Preservation Department and the Culture Committee, students will prepare draft-reports of their work from weeks 1 and 2 for a formal presentation.

WSU summer school enrollment for this course will be capped at 20 students, undergraduate and graduate students combined, and it will fulfill requirements for History 529, which will earn students 3 semester credits. Additional information about the field school application form, deadlines, syllabus, course fees, and any additional costs over and above tuition will be forthcoming.


Washington State University