Public History Collaborative


The Public History Collaborative (PHC), inaugurated in July 2019, is an initiative of the Department of History at the University of Arizona. The PHC brings together faculty, students, staff and the public to exchange ideas about history, collaborate using the processes and materials of history-making, and engage in multimodal knowledge production.

Sewing supplies superimposed by the words: Movement/Rest Quilting Bee


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PHC Team

Marya Annette McQuirter is the Director and an Assistant Professor of History. Patrick Angiulo is the GAT/Assistant Director for Fall 2020.

Movement/Rest Quilting Bee -- Fall 2020 Virtual Program

The Movement/Rest Quilting Bee is a bi-weekly opportunity open to all Tucson and University of Arizona community members to come together to make and learn in the midst of COVID-19 and white supremacy, two of the concurrent and intersecting crises of 2020. #MoveRestBee is inspired by the beautiful and loving work of #BLM & #M4BL. It is a virtual space and a hands-on public quilt project designed to nourish creativity, resistance, activism, joy, rest and care. This program is co-sponsored with CATalyst Studios, a digital makerspace in the university's main library.

All registered attendees will have the option to attend as many of the bi-weekly workshops as they would like and will each get a free kit with the basic supplies needed to create a unique square for the public quilt. Workshops will include short lessons on basic techniques related to quilting, as well as presentations by artists, activists, and “craftivists” from Tucson and beyond. Invited speakers will share inspiring projects and talk about their work as it relates to social justice, public history, art and documentation - placing quilting in social and cultural contexts and radical traditions. Attendees may use the remainder of the workshop time to discuss their quilt squares, ask questions and get help from facilitators. 

Upon registration, you will receive further instructions for participation, including how to pick up a quilting kit and how to return your finished quilt square. The quilt will be professionally assembled in the Spring of 2021. #moverestbee

Learn more and register here. 

Our Physical Space

Our makerspace is closed Fall 2020.

The physical space is a makerspace in Room 406 on the fourth floor of the César E. Chávez Building, 1110 James E. Rogers Way on the UA campus. In the makerspace, the public, faculty, students and staff gather to meet new people, to create, to collaborate, to share ideas and to learn new analog and digital tools and processes for moving from idea to project.

We host monthly workshops to bring people together to meet, talk, learn, share and ask questions about ideas, projects, tools and platforms that are helpful for creating public history projects. We also have regular drop-in hours for one-on-one sessions, for access to technology and library resources, and for making quick and easy projects, including exhibits, zines and posters.

Intellectual Commitment

The practice of history is usually an individual enterprise. The PHC wants to change that. We have an intellectual commitment to working with faculty, students and staff throughout the university to make the practice of history more collaborative in online and in-person classes and through publications and projects. We are also developing language and policies that would make public history work count in tenure and promotion. 

Ethical Commitment

We also have an ethical commitment to a vision of public history that sees the public as producers of history. This ethical commitment extends to resisting a transactional trend in public history (and public engagement) in which institutions extract ideas, materials and bodies in ways that are exploitative. We use institutional resources to support a wide range of projects created by the public. These institutional resources include space, materials, one-on-one sessions, interns and assistance locating and applying for grants.


The Public History Collaborative is also mobile. We go to individuals and organizations outside of the university. We also form partnerships to duplicate the makerspace and workshops in other settings.

Contact Us

You can reach us via email at

Marya Annette McQuirter can be reached directly via email at

Check us out on Facebook and Instagram.

We look forward to working with you!

Frequently Asked Questions


Public history is usually understood as history created by professionals (scholars, museum curators, filmmakers) for a general audience. At PHC, we define public history as history by, for and in collaboration with the public.

​​​​​​We can help you through conversations—in person, via phone, email and digital platforms—to think through your project, by sharing resources and by providing a space for you to learn and collaborate.

    You can send an email to and we will follow-up with you.

    You can send an email to and we will follow-up with you.

    Public History Collaborative

    UA logo on the side of a building

    Marya McQuirter

    Assistant Professor

    Director, Public History Collaborative