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UHA Panel: “Exploring Urban Studies Careers Beyond the Academy”

October 30, 2021 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm EDT

Join the Urban History Association’s Early Career Committee for our first “Beyond the Professoriate” panel! Urban history is more than an academic discipline – it is an epistemological swiss army knife. Urban studies scholars tackle research questions that, while historically resonant, are applicable to contemporary concerns in urban communities. This present-day salience, represented in our interdisciplinary methodology, also creates professional opportunities beyond the college classroom. Many urban studies scholars have put their training to use as policy analysts, city planners, program managers, museum specialists, digital specialists, private consultants, oral historians, and more. Our panelists will speak to some of the ways early career urban studies scholars can explore and pursue professional opportunities beyond the professoriate.

Garrett Nelson
, PhD, President & Head Curator, Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center, Boston Public Library. He is trained as a historical geographer and holds a PhD in Geography from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (2016). In addition to his conventional work as a historian, Garrett is also a developer and designer of digital humanities projects and tools. At the Leventhal Center, he has strengthened the institution’s commitments to civic engagement and opened exploratory new methods in public-facing research.

Meagan Elliott, PhD, is the Deputy Chief Financial Officer for the City of Detroit responsible for Development and Grants. In this capacity she oversees the spending of all philanthropic and grant dollars, including the American Rescue Plan. Prior to this role, she served as the Chief Parks Planner for the City of Detroit. Meagan has her Ph.D. in Sociology and her Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Michigan.

Kyna Stys, Director of Education and Museum Programming at the National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg, Texas and the host of the Historical AF Podcast. After earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Central Arkansas, Kyna Stys began her career in public service as the director of the William F. Laman Library Teen Center. Later, she earned a Master of Arts degree in public history from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock where she was awarded a youth and family programming internship at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and obtained a curatorial graduate assistantship at the Historic Arkansas Museum.

Jorge Leal, PhD, Assistant Professor of History, UC Riverside. As a cultural and urban historian, Leal’s research focuses on how youth culture producers and participants have reshaped the urban space in the transnational Latina/o/x communities in Southern California. Leal first wrote about Southern California as a journalist assigned to cover Los Angeles politics and Latinx cultural topics for Southern California, Mexico, and Spain publications. Leal is the curator of The Rock Archivo LÁ, a public history repository that collects, shares, and examines Latina/o/x youth cultures ephemera. He also collaborates as curator of the Boyle Heights Museum, a collaborative project that preserves and celebrates the multiethnic history of Los Angeles’ Boyle Heights neighborhood. Previously, he worked as a gallery educator at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and as a copywriter, television, and event producer. Dr. Leal holds a master’s in history from California State University, Northridge, and a Ph.D. from the History Department at UC San Diego.

Stephanie Frank, PhD, is a post-academic about to start a new position as a contractor undertaking National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) compliance for a federal agency after eight years as an Assistant Professor of Urban Planning + Design at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She earned a B.A. and M.A. in American Studies with a Certificate in Historic Preservation at the University of Maryland, College Park before completing a Ph.D. in Policy, Planning and Development at the University of Southern California. Frank is an Assistant Editor for the Urban History Association’s blog, The Metropole, and a member of the Board of Trustees for the Society for American City and Regional Planning History (SACRPH).

Anthony Pratcher II, PhD, co-chair of the Urban History Association’s Early Career Committee, is a Lecturer and Honors Faculty Fellow in Barrett, the Honors College, at Arizona State University. He was awarded a B.A. in History from Howard University and a Ph. D. in American History from the University of Pennsylvania. His scholarship uses oral interviews, census data, and archival collections to explore how urban policies influence community formation in the metropolitan Southwest. He co-edited a textbook on planning history, Planning Future Cities (Dubuque, IA: Kendall-Hunt, 2017), with Dr. Walter Greason and has been published by Pennsylvania Magazine of Biography and History, Southern California Quarterly and Technology and Culture. His research has been funded by an NEH/ODH Fellowship on Space and Place in Africana/Black Studies and by the Center for AfricanAmerican Urban Studies and the Economy at Carnegie Mellon University. He serves as Secretary for the George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center in Phoenix.

Daniela Bohórquez Sheinin, co-chair of the Urban History Association’s Early Career Committee, is a PhD candidate in History at the University of Michigan. She specializes in urban, cultural and oral history. Her dissertation, “Staging Neighborhood: Making Queens in the Construction of New York’s Last Great Park” details the complex histories of material, ethnic, social and political neighborhood change around Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in twentieth century Queens, New York. Her work has appeared in the Journal of Transnational American Studies, the Gotham Center for New York City History Blog, and she was co-founder and first host for the historical podcast, Reverb Effect.

How to register
Click here to register. All attendees must register in advance.


October 30, 2021
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm EDT
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