Graduate Alumni Spotlight: Devin Hunter
Devin Hunter is a graduate of Loyola's joint American and Public History Ph.D. program. He is currently an Assistant Professor of U.S. & Public History at the University of Illinois Springfield.
Devin's interests center on the ways that communities identify and promote themselves. He currently completing a manuscript titled City within a City: Politics, Culture, and Diversity in Uptown Chicago, 1950 to 1980, which traces liberal and radical aspirations for a culturally diverse neighborhood seemingly on the perpetual verge of urban renewal, redevelopment, and gentrification. He is also in the early stages of a project that follows the history of the commemoration of the Springfield Race Riot of 1908, from the immediate aftermath of the violence through the present day. He is part of two University of Illinois Presidential Initiative to Celebrate the Arts and Humanities Grant projects, one a collaboration with University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign to build community capacity for downstate cultural heritage tourism, and the other with UIUC and University of Illinois Chicago to curate off-campus exhibits that connect history to present-day social justice efforts.
As a public historian, Devin has professional experience at the National Archives and Records Administration and the Pritzker Military Library and Museum. He is a member of the State of Illinois Historic Sites Advisory Committee, and is a board member for the Illinois State Historical Society.
While at Loyola, Devin's dissertation was entitled “Growing Diversity: Urban Renewal, Community Activism, and the Politics of Cultural Diversity in Postwar Uptown Chicago.″ He also contributed to The Lakefront Historian blog and made his GIS maps of Uptown’s historical demographics publicly available through Harvard World Map.
"The principles of public history inform all of my work, whether it is in an academic setting or elsewhere," says Devin. "Loyola public historians pride themselves on versatility and the ability to place public history into a broad humanistic context." For more on Dr. Hunter, check out this interview from his time with the Loyola History Department.