Public History Collaborative

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

Quilt blocks from the Movement Rest Quilting Bee project.

The Public History Collaborative, inaugurated in July 2019, brings the public, students, staff & faculty together to produce and practice history.


There are no events listed for this time span.

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PHC Team

Marya Annette McQuirter is the Director and an Assistant Professor of History. She teaches classes in public history, digital humanities and animal studies. Her work is always grounded in black studies.

Zoe Harrison is the Assistant Director for Spring 2021. Zoe is an MA student in the History department focusing on 19th and 20th century Black history. Her research interests include the various roles of Black women and non-binary individuals in death care, social movements, and the construction of community space.  

Inside Arizona Series

The Inside Arizona series highlights individuals and groups in Arizona who are making history in public spaces and for the public. Click on the social media tags above to see the stories. If you have ideas for people and projects to highlight, you can dm us or send an email to

Movement/Rest Quilting Bee -- 2020-2021 Virtual Program

In Fall 2020, the PHC in collaboration with CATalyst Studios and the Kindred Group at the Pima County Public Library produced the Movement/Rest Quilting Bee, a bi-weekly event open to individuals in Tucson and at the University of Arizona 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, inspired by the beautiful and loving work of #BLM & #M4BL, is a virtual space and a hands-on public quilt project designed to nourish creativity, resistance, activism, joy, rest and care.

During Spring 2021, the ~50 quilt blocks will be made into two quilts. (The quilt blocks featured in the banner were created by #moverestbee participants.) Once the quilts have been made, they will be exhibited at the university, the public library and throughout Tucson.

We are currently planning another iteration of the virtual program to include more collaborators and, hopefully, high school and college students. If you are interested in collaborating with us, please send an email to

Our Physical Space

Our makerspace is closed Spring 2021 due to COVID-19.

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