Margo Shea

Professional Details

Title Associate Professor
Department History
Office Sullivan Building 107C
Phone 978.542.2610
Photo of Margo Shea

Recent and Upcoming Courses

FYHI 100 First Year Seminar (history)
HST 106 Global History Since 1900
HST 275 Irish History
HST 300 Introduction to Museum Work
HST 305 Topics in Public History
HST 501 Internship
HST 600 Honors in History
HST 703 Oral History
HST 710 Museum Studies
HST 713 Introduction to the Public Life of History
HST 990 Internship
HST 992 Directed Study
HST 994 Directed Study in Portfolio

Professional Biography


  • B.A., Urban Studies, University of Pennsylvania 
  • M.A., History, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Ph.D., History, University of Massachusetts Amherst 

Professional Interests


  • public history
  • history & memory
  • local and community history
  • heritage & place-making
  • urban history 
  • Northern Ireland & Modern Ireland 



I supervise the student-led Historical Association, a campus group open to all lovers of history.  I also oversee the History Department internships program and provide advising and academic oversight for the graduate certificate in Public History. I serve on the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts History Alliance and am chairperson of the Communications and Nominations committees.

You can find my homepage with course syllabi, information on public history projects and an active blog by clicking here. Learn more about my research, teaching and community engagement interests by clicking here.  You can learn more about my forthcoming book, Derry City, by clicking here.


Selected Publications


Selected Presentations

"Democratizing the Historical Research Process: Strategies and Tools" IMLS Community Anchors Training, Noah Webster House, West Hartford, CT

“Community, Memory and Dislocation in the Wake of the Catholic Church's Sexual Abuse Crisis” Memory Studies Association Annual Meeting, Madrid, Spain

“Oral History: Purpose &  Methods" Half Day Workshop, Sewanee Black History Project, University of the South, Sewanee, TN

“Out of the Spotlight: Grappling with Loss in the Wake of the Catholic Church’s Sex Abuse Crisis,” National Council on Public History Annual Meeting On-the-Fly, , Hartford, CT

"Derrymandered: Responses to Redistricting in Derry City 1922-1945," American Conference of Irish Studies Annual Meeting, Boston, MA

“Feminist Oral History in the Digital Age” Oral History Association Annual Meeting, Concordia University, Montréal, QC, Canada

"Collaboration is Key: Benefits and Challenges of Creating Partnerships between Local History Organizations and Graduate Programs." Massachusetts Historical Alliance, College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA

“Power Struggles in Public History” National Council on Public History annual meeting, Las Vegas, NV (paper accepted but not presented due to family emergency)

“Building the Geo-Humanities: Constructing a Field” American Association of Geographers annual meeting, New Orleans LA  (paper accepted but not presented (paper accepted but not presented due to family emergency)

“The Places Project: A People’s Map of the South Cumberland Plateau” Grundy County Historical Society, Tracy City, TN

“Personal Geographies, Community Histories and Public Life”  South Cumberland VISTA Training, Sewanee, TN

“Crowd-Sourced Community Mapping: The Places Project and the Power of Place Memory and Place Attachment:” National Council on Public History Annual Meeting, Indianapolis, IN

“Participatory Methodologies in the Study of Cultural and Community Memory” Panel: Doing Memory Research Differently, American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting,Boston, MA

“Place-Based Research and Education: Theories, Practices and Purposes” National Humanities Center online webinar

“Introduction to the Spatial Humanities: Querying Space and Place in Teaching and Research” with Richard Apgar, Center for Teaching, University of the South

“Questions that Matter: Does Community Engagement Serve Social Justice?” Invited Lecture, Center for Community Engagement, University of the South, Sewanee, TN

Collecting and Curating Memoir  and the Practice of Public History” Panel: Teaching Memory Studies, Modern Languages Association Annual Meeting, Philadelphia

“Valuing Local History and Historic Preservation” Keynote Address, Grundy County Historical Society Annual (Christmas) Meeting

“Community Engagement in the Wake of the 2016 Presidential Election: What Does Trump’s Victory Mean For Our Work?” Invited Workshop, Office of Community Engagement, University of the South, Sewanee, TN

“Landscape, Memories, and Quiet Histories: Interpreting the Campus of the Highlander Folk School, Monteagle, TN” National Council on Public History Camping Con, Cades Cove, TN

“One Space, Many Places: The Places Project” Spirit of Place Colloquium, Greenfield Community College, Greenfield, MA

“Community Engagement as Process: Story, Narrative and Social Justice”  University of the South’s Community Engagement House

“Community Engaged Teaching: What You Need to Know,” Invited Lecture, American Association of Geographers Faculty Development Alliance Workshop, Knoxville, TN

“Stories, Rhymes, Rituals, Memories: Performing Faith, Family and Community in Partitioned Northern Ireland 1922-1945,” American Conference of Irish Studies – New England Regional Meeting, Community College of Rhode Island

“Place and Memory: Social Constructions, Physical Manifestations” Invited Speaker, A Park for Every Classroom Teacher Workshop, National Park Service Salem Maritime National Historic Site

“Dealing with Difficult Knowledge in Interpretation” Invited Speaker, Interactive Interpretative Training, National Parks Service Salem Maritime and Saugus Ironworks

Working Group, “Best Practices for Establishing a Public History Program” National Council on Public History Annual Conference, Ottawa, Ontario

“There Used to Be Streets: Reinterpreting the Beginnings of the Northern Irish Troubles” Canadian Association of Irish Studies Annual Meeting

Personal Interests

Creative, engaged public history is my passion.