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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
Curriculum vitae: Download PDF


Professor Marsh is the Director of the Public History Program, where she supervises students in the museums track 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 

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. This innovative museum interpretation was recently reviewed in the Journal of American History and The Public Historian. 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 will be shown at McKissick Museum.  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.