The Shared Histories research project is an initiative of the Guilbeau Center for Public History, in the Department of History, Geography & Philosophy at University of Louisiana, Lafayette.
The Guilbeau Center is an unparalleled research center dedicated to the study and practice of Public History. As a state and regional leader for public history, its projects receive national attention for their originality and contribution to the field. We are dedicated to helping public historians incorporate diversity, inclusion, equity and accessibility in their work and we focus on projects that decolonize public history. This means specifically that we support projects that seek to expose and dismantle systemic racism, sexism, ableism, antiLGBTQ+ bias and other various and invidious forms of discrimination that persist in mainstream society. As historians, we rely on rigorous historical research to demonstrate the distinctions between public memory, falsified historical narratives and evidence based historical facts. In addition to Shared Histories, our current research projects include:
Do No Harm: The Healing Touch of Louisiana Women in Medicine, Louisiana State Museum, Baton Rouge, 2021: A history of the barrier breakers that revolutionized the development of medicine, from the mothers of gynecology — the enslaved women who were involuntarily experimented upon by white male medical professionals — to Black MDs like Dr. Viola Coleman Johnson who fought against segregation to improve professional medical training opportunities for African Americans.
Healing in the Bayou: A podcast series that looks at the history of medicine in Louisiana. Each episode includes interviews with community members to learn about different experiences with mainstream medicine or alternative healing practices, including midwives, traiteurs, and traditional Indigenous healers. Seasons two and three examine examines the shared histories of COVID19 and the movement for Black lives in Southwest Louisiana.