Patricia Mooney-Melvin (University of Cincinnati, Ph.D., 1978) is Associate Professor of History and Graduate Program Director at Loyola University Chicago, where she teaches courses in public history, local history, Progressive Era history, and social welfare history. She previously taught at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, where she established and directed the Public History Program; The College of Wooster; and the University of Cincinnati. She received a Certificate of Excellence from the Illinois State Historical Society in Spring 1994 for Reading Your Neighborhood: A History of East Rogers Park (Chicago: Loyola University, 1993). Mooney-Melvin was Graduate Faculty Member of the Year at Loyola in 2002. As a member of the American Historical Association’s Committee on the Master’s Degree in History, she participated in the Wingspread Conference, Competencies and Credentials in the Training of History Professionals (2005).
Mooney-Melvin has been a leading voice in the promotion of public history for more than three decades. She served as President of the National Council on Public History (NCPH) from 1994-1995 and has held numerous positions in NCPH. She was the Curator of the Ohio Labor History Project at the Ohio Historical Society and Guest Curator for “Ohio Quilts and Quilters” at the Frick Art Galley of the College of Wooster as well as for “Behold Our Works Were Good” exhibition at The Old State House in Little Rock, AR. Mooney-Melvin served as the Acting Director for the UALR Archives and Special Collections Department at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She was a faculty member for Teaching Public History. A Summer Humanities Institute funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities at Arizona State University in 1984. Other public history projects of note include the “Guidebook to DoD-related World War II Sites and Museum,” Legacy Resource Management Program for the Department of Defense (principle investigator), “Agents of Change: the Jesuits and Mid-America,” Loyola University traveling exhibition (project director), and the Erie Neighborhood House Neighborhood History Project (facilitator).
More recently, Mooney-Melvin has focused her work in public history on curriculum development, women’s history, and community engagement. She is interested in reflective practice as public history’s signature pedagogy and has presented a draft of her work- in-progress in this area as a conference paper at a NCPH annual conference. She is a founding member of the Women’s History Affinity Group of the American Association of State and Local History. She was part of the scholar summit held by the Congressional Commission on a National Women’s History Museum and presented “Claiming and Engaging Space: The National Women’s History Museum” on January 26, 2016. She was a member of a working group that provided material for the section on the need for such a museum for the Commission as it prepared its report for Congress. In 2016 she participated in a NCPH PechaKucha session, “Re-interpreting Relevance: Preservation, Herstory, and the Challenge to the National Narrative,” where she focused on the representation of women on Chicago’s memorial landscape. Her interest in history and community engagement can be seen in a recent article in the Journal of Urban History (2014), “Engaging the Neighborhood: the East Rogers Park Neighborhood History Project and the Possibilities and Challenges of Community-Based Initiatives” and in her partnership with Elizabeth Fraterrigo as Co-PI for Race: Are We So Different? Visitor Survey Evaluation Project (Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center 2014-2015 and South Carolina State Museum 2016).
Mooney-Melvin’s scholarship reflects her interests in urban and public history, the relationship of public space and public memory, and the history and evolution of city neighborhoods and settlements. Her most influential publications include Making Sense of the City: Local Government, Civic Culture, and Community Life in American Cities, edited with Robert B. Fairbanks (Ohio State University Press, 2001); Reading Your Neighborhood: A History of East Rogers Park (Loyola University Press, 1993); The Organic City: Urban Definition and Neighborhood Organization 1880-1920 (University Press of Kentucky, 1987); The Urbanization of Modern America, with Zane Miller (2nd ed, San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1987); American Community Organizations: A Historical Dictionary (Greenwood Press, 1986) as well as well as “Harnessing the Romance of the Past: Preservation, Tourism, and History.” The Public Historian 13 (Spring 1991): 35-48 and “Professional Historians and the Challenge of Redefinition.” Public History: Essays From the Field, eds. James B. Gardner and Peter LaPaglia, 5-21. Malabar, FA: Krieger Press, 1999, 2004. She is currently completing The Landscape of Urban Memory: Public Space and Public Memory in Chicago with Theodore Karamanski.
While serving as Associate Dean and Interim Dean of Loyola University Chicago’s Graduate School, Mooney-Melvin has been the PI for Charting Career Pathways: Enhancing and Sustaining Doctoral Education in the Humanities, National Endowment for the Humanities, 2016-2017 and Co-PI for a variety of grants including Mastering the Humanities: Growing, Diversifying, and Sustaining the Humanities, ETS/MAGS Award for Excellence and Innovation in Graduate Education, 2013-2014; the Doctoral Initiative on Minority Attrition and Completion, 2012-2014; National Science Foundation and the Council of Graduate Schools; and the Completion and Attrition in STEM Master’s Programs 2011-2012, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the Council of Graduate Schools. She was Co-Director of Loyola University Chicago’s Financial Education Project as part of Enhancing Student Financial Education, a Council of Graduate Schools/TIAA-CREF grant, 2013-2015. Graduate School presentations of note include “Financial Education: Multiple Learning Pathways to Enhancing Knowledge.” National Summit on Collegiate Financial Wellness. June 17, 2016; “The Humanities and Career Pathways,” The Midwest Association of Graduate Schools, April 12, 2012; “Dealing With Students In Crisis.” Council of Graduate Schools, December 9, 2011; and “Transformative Graduate Education at Loyola University Chicago.” Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities Graduate Conference, March 18, 2011.
American history 1880-1940, public history, urban memory and memorial landscapes, neighborhoods and settlements.
HIST 480: Public History: Method and Theory
HIST 492: Local History
HIST 410: American Settlement House Movement
HIST 410: World War I and American Culture
The Landscape of Urban Memory: Public Space and Public Memory in Chicago. With Theodore Karamanski. Advance contract with Northern Illinois University Press.
“Engaging the Neighborhood: the East Rogers Park Neighborhood History Project and the Possibilities and Challenges of Community-Based Initiatives.” Journal of Urban History, forthcoming.
“Professional Historians and the Challenge of Redefinition.” Public History: Essays From the Field, eds. James B. Gardner and Peter LaPaglia, 5-21. Malabar, FA: Krieger Press, 1999, 2004.
“Harnessing the Romance of the Past: Preservation, Tourism, and History.” The Public Historian 13 Spring 1991): 35-48.
The Organic City: Urban Definition and Neighborhood Organization 1880-1920. Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 1987.