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 from the joint doctoral program in U.S. and Public History at Loyola University Chicago in 2020. She is a social historian of American women and gender, labor, education, and urban reform movements of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. She currently teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on U.S. history and public history at Texas State University.
Oram held several positions as a 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 in Chicago. Her current public history practice focuses on historic preservation and community-based site interpretation to highlight inclusive stories in the built environment.
Oram’s book manuscript explores how progressive-era women reformed Chicago’s public schools to address their social anxieties about girls, wage-earning, and domesticity in urban America. She has published research on gender, labor, and urban school reform in The Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era and A Girl Can Do: Recognizing and Representing Girlhood (ed. Tiffany Isselhardt). Oram is currently pursuing National Register status for several twentieth-century public schools in Chicago that represent important chapters in the history of urban education.
More information about her teaching, scholarship, and public history projects can be found on her personal website.