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College of Arts & Sciences
Department of History

Faculty Directory

Allison Marsh

Associate Professor

Office: 210 Gambrell Hall
Degrees: B.S. Engineering, Swarthmore College
B.A. History, Swarthmore College
Ph.D. History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, Johns Hopkins University
Phone: (803) 777-0041
Research Interests: Public History, History of Technology, Tourism


Professor Marsh works in the fields of history of technology and museum studies.  She supervises students in the museums track of the public history program and leads graduate seminars in material culture and museum theory.  She developed HIST 214: “The Practice of Public History” as a Carolina Core course and pioneered the first fully online asynchronous history course, HIST 478: “Material Culture in the Digital Age.” She also regularly teaches HIST 108: “Science and Technology in World History.” Before coming to USC, she was Curator and Winton M. Blount Research Chair at the Smithsonian Institution National Postal Museum.

Current Activities 

While on sabbatical, Dr. Marsh will be completing her book, The Factory, which is under contract with Praeger Publishing as part of their Human Spaces series.  The book looks at industrialization in American history by examining the material culture of factories.


Dr. Marsh is currently involved in the founding of a new Institute on campus.  The Ann Johnson Institute for Science, Technology & Society.  The AJI is dedicated to breaking down intellectual silos and promoting cross-disciplinary conversations among the humanities, sciences, engineering, and medical fields.


Recently, Dr. Marsh has been working with colleagues in Asia to spread global practices of public history.  In August 2017, she presented her work to Japanese engineers in Kobe and Tokyo as part of the HISTELCON and Maui Meetings, respectively.  She also gave two presentations at the IEEE Sections Congress in Sydney, Australia on how to develop Milestones in electrical and computer engineering history.  During the summer of 2015 she was an invited guest faculty member at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences at Chongqing University, China.


Dr. Marsh’s article “Collective Forgetting” on the Smithsonian’s orphan engineering collections  won the 2014 IEEE –USA award for Distinguished Literary Contributions.  She was a core team member on the reconceptualization and redesign of the Woodrow Wilson Family Home, which is now the largest permanent exhibit space in the United States dedicated to telling the story of Reconstruction, the pivotal era for race relations that followed the Civil War.  Over Spring Break 2015, Dr. Marsh took a group of a dozen USC graduate students to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to conduct over 50 oral histories with base residents.  A student-designed exhibit is based on this work was shown at McKissick Museum.  Dr. Marsh has also consulted with the Showtime television show Guantanamo, which is currently in production.