Dr. Lara Kelland is the E. Desmond Lee Endowed Professor in Museum Studies and Community History in the department of History. She is also the director of the Museums, Heritage and Public History MA and graduate certificate. Her scholarship centers on questions of collective memory, cultural history and social justice. Her first book, Clio’s Foot Soldiers: Twentieth-Century US Social Movements and the Uses of Collective Memory (University of Massachusetts Press, 2018) traces the use of history by activists in the Civil Rights, Black Power, Women’s Liberation, Gay Liberation and American Indian Movements.
Kelland's second book manuscript, Collective Memory in Isla del Encanto: Island and Diaspora Heritage during the American Imperial Century (under contract with the University of Massachusetts Press), traces the use of heritage through colonial, official, and oppositional visions of nationhood on the island and throughout the diaspora.
At UMSL, she directs the Digital Humanities Lab, developing public history and other cultural, public-facing and public-engaging projects on a variety of platforms. She is especially interested in producing place-based narratives in her public history practice, using digital tools to interpret the past and articulate a more complex sense of urban history and historical space in the St. Louis region.