My name is Karen Sieber. I am a public historian and digital humanist specializing in community history, social and cultural history, labor history, Black history, and urban history. My interdisciplinary research and curatorial work connects the public with the tools necessary to better understand, preserve and share the history, art, and culture all around them. Click a menu item above or linked text below to read publications, watch interviews, view exhibits, and more.
While much of my past work has been amplifying and supporting the work of other scholars and institutions, my own research and writing has been featured in or cited by the American Historical Association, the National Council for Public History, PBS, The Conversation, Smithsonian magazine, National Geographic, and the recent Gayle King CBS special “Tulsa 1921: An American Tragedy,” as well as numerous academic publications. I am the creator of Visualizing the Red Summer, the most comprehensive archive and classroom resource on the Red Summer of 1919, now used on five continents and a featured resource of the National Archives, National History Day, National Council on Public History, and American Historical Association among others. I am also a consulting researcher for television shows, and a public historian who has curated numerous museum exhibits nationwide, including “H is For Hayti” about the thriving Black community in Durham, North Carolina, largely destroyed during urban renewal.
I am currently working on two veins of research, one exploring the origins of class field trips and experiential place-based education in America, and the other delving into the intellectual lives of hobos. I also serve as a Humanities Officer for Minnesota Humanities Center.