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Public Historians in Residence

Anna F. Kaplan, PhD.
Professorial Lecturer, Public Historian in Residence

Professional Position: Independent Historian and Oral Historian

Kaplan’s work emphasizes the authority of everyday individuals and communities to tell, contextualize, and analyze their own histories. Focusing primarily on race in the US South, her scholarship examines how people actively shape and employ memory to maintain and/or subvert power through public narratives. Kaplan brings this ethos to the classroom by encouraging a collaborative exploration of course topics and student engagement in historical analysis. She also incorporates a range of perspectives and sources that render more complex, robust, historical narratives and scholarship.

Courses Taught at AU

  • HIST 667: Oral History
  • WGSS 150: Women’s Voices through Time
  • HIST 220: Women in America since 1850
  • AMST 320: Civil Rights in the US
  • HIST 209: African American History: 1877–Present

Trevor Owens, PhD.
Professorial Lecturer, Public Historian in Residence

Professional Position: Head of Digital Content Management, Library of Congress

I lead teams at the Library of Congress responsible for managing digital collections, engaging with volunteers to enhance access to digital collections, and supporting collecting and preserving contemporary digital content. I approach teaching and research in the context of these areas of professional practice and am excited to work with students interested in careers with digital tools and services in libraries, archives, and museums. I think the best work in cultural heritage institutions is anchored in iterative processes of research, learning, and project management and I try to model that in my teaching practices as well.”

Courses Taught at AU

HIST 477/677: History and New Media

Crystal M. Moten, PhD
Distinguished Public Historian in Residence

Professional Position: Curator of African American history in the Division of Work and History at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History

Dr. Moten is curator of African American history in the Division of Work and History at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. Her research interests include the intersectional connections between African American labor, business, and civil rights history with emphasis on post-world war II Black freedom movements in the urban Midwest. These research interests inform her curatorial and teaching practices.

Courses Taught at AU

HIST 729: Public History Seminar

Sam Vong, PhD
Distinguished Public Historian in Residence

Professional Position: Curator, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution

Sam Vong is a public historian and Curator of Asian Pacific American (APA) History. He earned his PhD at Yale University in History. His research focuses on US immigration history, global migration studies, gender, and affect. At NMAH, he is working to bring greater representation and visibility to Asian American and Pacific Islanders through museum collections, exhibitions, and programs. His teaching as a museum practitioner engages students in the craft of storytelling using material culture. Learn more about Vong's research and role at NMAH.

Courses Taught at AU

HIST 468/668: Museums Inside Out

Matthew R. Costello, PhD
Adjunct Professorial Lecturer, Public Historian in Residence

Professional Position: Vice President of the David M. Rubenstein National Center for White House History; Senior Historian, White House Historical Association

“As a public historian, my primary focus is the history of the White House and the people who lived and worked there. In this role at WHHA, I am creating new historical content everyday for all kinds of audiences. I am also constantly editing and reviewing written materials, so I stress to students both verbally and through our course assignments that the ability to write concisely with clear, accessible language will always be in high demand, regardless of major or career.”

Courses Taught at AU

HIST 296: History of the White House