Hello Historical World! My name is Alexandra Erichson and I am a Public History graduate student at American University. What is Public History you ask? Well, ask everyone one of us in this program and we will all have different answers. For me, Public History is about interpreting history in a way that is understandable to a audience outside of academia. You encounter public historians in museums, historic sites, and when you pick up your favorite history magazine.
A little about me!
When I was in second grade my family and I visited The Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. The museum had (and still does – check it out!) an ancient Egypt exhibit and I didn’t want to leave. I was put in the care of my archaeologist aunt while my family continued on through the museum. Ever since then I have wanted to become an Egyptologist. I went to Michigan State University and earned a BS in Anthropology and a Specialization in Muslim Studies. After that, I found myself in the museum-world. I now want to combine what I learned working in museums with Public History approaches to interpret the ancient history of Egypt. I believe that all types of history (ancient, modern, Western, non-Western…you get the point) need to become more outward-facing if they are to generate interest and support. Egyptology is a popular subject, but one that could still benefit from adopting a Public History philosophy, something I will bring to my future career. I plan on pursuing a PhD in Near Eastern Studies to become a professor or curator of Egyptology.
Why do I write this blog?
I am here pondering Public History through a course called History and New Media. I am hoping to learn how to be a historian that is not afraid of trying out new technologies to reach a broader audience. Please bear with me over this semester as I stumble through the seemingly complicated and intimating maze of new media.