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.
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. She currently serves on the Board of Governors of Pioneer Farms, a living history museum in Austin, TX.
Oram’s book manuscript in progress explores competing efforts of women social reformers and labor activists to educate girls for work in Chicago between 1880 and 1930. She has published her research on women, girls, and urban school reform in The Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era and presented 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. Oram is currently pursuing National Register designations for several other public schools in Chicago that represent important chapters in the history of vocational school reform. 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.