The Department of History is proud to welcome Kacie Lucchini Butcher, a public historian with a background in museum studies and exhibit curation, as the new Director of the Public History Project at UW-Madison! The Public History Project is an initiative that will span multiple years, and hopes to “uncover and give voice to those who experienced, challenged and overcame prejudice on campus.”
The project was inspired by a 2018 study group, which examined the history of two on-campus student organizations that bore the name of the Ku Klux Klan, but had no known formal association with the national Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. Professor Stephen Kantrowitz (Department of History) and Dr. Floyd Rose (President of 100 Black Men of Madison) co-chaired the committee. The group’s findings were published in a report to the Chancellor, and Chancellor Rebecca Blank commissioned the Public History Project as one of the responses to the research in the report.
Kacie Lucchini Butcher plans to engage with students, staff, faculty, alumni, and other community members in order to tell stories that were previously hidden or unknown, and to initiate difficult conversations about exclusion and prejudice on campus. Ultimately, “Lucchini Butcher believes UW-Madison’s Public History Project can have a positive effect, informing and furthering current measures to make the campus more welcoming and inclusive.”