Dr. Helen Sheumaker

Helen Sheumaker

Teaching Professor

Joint appointment in the History Department and Global and Intercultural Studies (American Studies Program)
History Department, Lead Department Advisor
Room 272 Upham Hall
Oxford, OH 45056
513 529 7339
Office hours Spring 2023T 9-9:45 am; W 9-9:45 am in 272 UPH/zoom/google chat and M 2-3 pm zoom/google chat and meetings by appointments. Zoom link in canvas site.


  • 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 

  • HST 112 Survey in U.S. History 1977 - present
  • AMS/HST 216 Introduction to Public History
  • AMS/HST 304 History, Memory and Tradition
  • AMS/HST 435/535 Public History Practicum

Selected Publications 

"Home and Family," in A Cultural History of Shopping in the Modern Age, Bloomsbury, 2022

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

Dr. Sheumaker regularly collaborates with the staff at Miami University archives, creating public-facing local and campus history projects. She is collaborating with Miami University Archives and Special Collections Archives to create a new digitized collection, "Race at Miami University," as part of a larger multi-year project and she has developed a continuing student-collaborative database of Miami University students before 1864, to aid research in the history of students from the South and North before the Civil War. Her research focuses on 19th- and early-20th century material culture.