I am Associate Professor of History and Director of Public History at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. I received my PhD in American Studies from The George Washington University. I teach courses in material culture, digital public history, and community-based public history practice. I also teach courses in American social and cultural history, particularly during the Progressive era, the 1920s and the 1930s. I am interested in grassroots political activism and unrest and in the impact it has had on the emergence of popular histories as both narrative and material practices.
My research explores the significance and value of American cultural institutions. My first book Museums, Monuments, and National Parks: Toward a New Genealogy of Public History (University of Massachusetts, 2012) won the 2013 NCPH book award. My second book project Radical Roots: Civic Engagement, Public History, and a Tradition of Social Justice Activism (Amherst College Press, 2021) began as a working group I co-organized during the 2014 Annual Meeting of the National Council on Public History. The resulting essay collection emerged out of a collaborative research initiative undertaken by more than two dozen public history scholars and practitioners. Our goal was to identify, theorize, and critique an activist stream in the history of our field. It is available as an open access digital book.
Prior to joining the UMBC faculty, I worked as a public history professional in numerous institutions, including the National Museum of American History, the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington (now the Capital Jewish Museum) and the Accokeek Foundation at Piscataway Park.
To learn more about my current research, click here.
To learn more about my approach to teaching public history or to see some sample syllabi, click here.
If you are interested in the crowdsourced digital collection project I initiated, Preserve the Baltimore Uprising, click here.
My complete c.v. is here: Meringolo CV 2022
Follow me on Twitter @DDMeringolo