Dr. Helen Sheumaker

Helen Sheumaker

Associate Teaching Professor

Joint appointment in the History Department and Global and Intercultural Studies (American Studies Program)
History Department, Chief Department Advisor
Room 272 Upham Hall
Oxford, OH 45056
513 529 7339
Office hours Fall 2020: Remote T 10:00-12:00, R 12:00-1:00, and by appointment


  • PhD, University of Kansas
  • MA, University of Kansas
  • BA, University of Kansas

Teaching and Research Interests

  • Material Culture Methods and Theory
  • Public History
  • US 19th century Cultural History
  • History of Consumerism
  • American Studies

Courses Recently Taught 

  • AMS/HST 435/535 Public History Practicum
  • AMS/HST 304 History, Memory and Tradition
  • HST 350 Investigations in the History of Miami University
  • AMS/HST 216 Introduction to Public History

Selected Publications 

Artifacts from Modern America, Greenwood, 2017

"All Downhill from Here: Teaching with Drunk History," Perspectives on Teaching: The Newsmagazine of the American Historical Association, October 2015

"Secondhand Learning: Using Secondhand Consumerism in the Classroom" in Shopping: Material Culture Perspectives, Deborah Andrews, ed., University of Delaware Press, 2014

"True Collector: The Collecting Narrative of Alice Van Leer Carrick," Journal of the History of Collections 24:3, November 2012

Editor, Memory Matters: Proceedings from the 2010 Conference Hosted by the Humanities Center, Miami University of Ohio, SUNY Press, 2011

Love Entwined: The Curious History of Hair Work, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007

Material Culture in America: Understanding Everyday Life.  An encyclopedia of 180+ entries.  Co-edited with Shirley Wajda, ABC-CLIO Press, 2007

Artifacts from Modern America, Greenwood Press, 2017.  Listed as a top-10 2018 reference book by the American Library Association's Booklist.

Work in Progress

I would be happy to work with graduate students interested in completing public history projects, such as exhibitions, community collaboratives, and other public history work, and graduate students interested in 19th and 20th century material culture.