Department of History

Kenneth Shefsiek,
Associate Professor and Director of the Graduate Program in Public History


  • Ph.D., University of Georgia (2010)
  • Master of Heritage Preservation, Georgia State University (2000)
  • Master of Music, New England Conservatory of Music (1989)
  • Bachelor of Music, Ithaca College (1986)

Selected professional experience

  • Executive Director, Geneva (NY) Historical Society, 2006-2012
    Curator of Education, Huguenot Historical Society, New Paltz, New York, 2001-2003
  • Member, Board of Directors, Upstate History Alliance/Museumwise, a service organization for New York museum professionals, 2007-2012
  • Advisor, Historic Districts Commission, Geneva, New York, 2007-2012
    Vice-Chairman, Village of New Paltz (NY) Historic Preservation Commission, 2002-2003

Academic Interests

As a public historian, my primary interests are in the operation of historic house museums, with a particular focus on interpretation and material culture, and historical memory. I also teach courses in historic preservation and museum administration. As an early Americanist, my primary research concern is the intersection of social and cultural history in the eighteenth century.

Courses Taught

  • HST 105: United States History through 1865
  • HST 570: Public History, Theory and Practice
  • HST 575: Administration of Museums and Historic Sites
  • HST 477/577: Historic Preservation in the United States
  • HST 580: Topics in Public History, Historic House Museums

Significant Publications

  • Set in Stone: Creating and Commemorating a Hudson Valley Culture, SUNY Press, 2017. Awarded the 2017 Annual Hendricks Award for best book on the Dutch Colonial experience in America by the New Netherland Institute.