Primary Teaching Focus:
American History; Public History
Twentieth-Century American History; Public History; Local and Community History; Women and Gender History; Urban History; History of Education
Dr. Ruby Oram is an Assistant Professor of Practice at Texas State University. She received her PhD in History from Loyola University Chicago where she specialized in U.S. history and the practice of public history. She is a social historian of American women and gender, labor, education, and urban reform movements of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. As a public historian, Oram’s work centers on addressing issues of diversity and representation in historic preservation and local history.
Oram held several positions as a professional public historian prior to arriving at Texas State University. She worked in collections and museum education at the Art Institute of Chicago; archives and record management at the Newberry Library, and public programs at the Chicago Architecture Center (formerly the Chicago Architecture Foundation). In 2011 she helped run the first Open House Chicago, an annual architecture festival that provides free access to hundreds of historic buildings and cultural sites across the city each fall.
Oram’s scholarship as a social historian and work as a public historian are interconnected. Her book manuscript in progress explores how women educators, social reformers, and labor activists shaped the development of vocational programs for female students in Chicago between 1890 and 1930. She has presented her research on women, girls, and vocational school reform at national meetings of the American Historical Association, Urban History Association, and History of Education Society. Oram successfully nominated one of the subjects of her book project – an all-girl vocational school in Chicago, the Lucy Flower Technical School – to the National Register of Historic Places in 2017 (featured on nps.gov). Oram is currently pursuing National Register designations for several other historic public schools in Chicago that embody important chapters in the history of urban education. More information on her scholarship and public history projects can be found on her website.
Oram teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on U.S. history and public history at Texas State University. She previously taught U.S. history courses at Loyola University Chicago.