Historically Speaking: History PhDs Tell Stories of Working Outside the Academy

Co-Sponsors–The Andrew W. Mellon-funded Humanities for the Public Good, the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, and the UI Department of History

Join us on Monday, February 24 from 3:30pm to 5:30PM at the Iowa City Public Library meeting rooms for a panel and small group discussion by history PhD alumni, who will discuss their pathways to career diversity.

Featured Alumni

Eric Zimmer, Historian, Vantage Point Historical Services

Eric Steven Zimmer, Ph.D., works on a variety of digital, exhibit-based, and narrative history projects at Vantage Point Historical Services, Inc. in his hometown of Rapid City, South Dakota. His work has appeared in regional and national scholarly journals and media outlets, garnering several awards, including the Rachel Carson Prize for Best Dissertation from the American Society for Environmental History. Zimmer also serves as the lead research fellow at the Center for American Indian Research and Native Studies on the Pine Ridge Reservation, is a project historian for the Rapid City Indian Lands Project, and sits on the board of directors for the Journey Museum & Learning Center in Rapid City. He lives in the Black Hills with his lovely wife, Samantha, and their dog, Nigel.

Sylvea Hollis, National Park Service Mellon Humanities Postdoctoral Fellowship 

Sylvea Hollis is a social historian of the nineteenth and twentieth-century U.S. with particular research interests in race, gender, sexuality, and social welfare. She earned a Ph.D. in U.S. History, with concentration in African American History and a graduate certificate in Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies from the University of Iowa. Sylvea also has over fifteen years’ experience working on publicly-engaged projects with universities, archives, museums, and professional associations—including the American Alliance of Museums, National Museum of American History, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, and the St. Eustatius Historical Foundation (Dutch Caribbean). She has a M.A. in History Museum Studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program at SUNY-Oneonta and a B.S. in History from the University of Montevallo. Sylvea currently is the NPS Mellon Postdoc in Gender and Sexuality Equality.

Karen Christianson, Director, Department of Public Engagement, Newberry Library

Karen Christianson is Director of Public Engagement at the Newberry, an independent research library in Chicago, where she is privileged to introduce an intellectually curious general public to the joys of grappling with the humanities. She holds a PhD in history from the University of Iowa and has taught at DePaul University and Chicago State University.