If you are interested in applying,
please contact The Shadows at
(337) 369 – 6446
Title: Public Historian
Department: Historic Sites
Office: Shadows on the Teche
Supervisor: Executive Director
Date: February 2023
The Shadows-on-the-Teche in New Iberia, Louisiana, is a site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization that protects significant places representing our diverse cultural experience by taking direct action and inspiring broad public support.
Situated on the ancestral land of the Atkapan-Ishak and Chitimacha peoples, “The Shadows” is an antebellum home and former site of enslavement. Today, the property is open to the public and the experiences of those who occupied the site, both free and enslaved, are shared through tours and public programming.
The Public Historian serves as an informed and welcoming ambassador for The Shadows and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, facilitating the experience of both individuals and school and group tours during their time at this significant and complex historic site.
The hourly rate for this regular part-time position is $17.00 an hour with an expectation that the employee will work 20-22 hours a week. The position is also benefits eligible.
- Interpret the full history of the site, engaging visitors through dialogic tours with expertise and professionalism.
- Respectfully and ethically communicate the significance of slavery and its legacy at The Shadows.
- Encourage visitors to engage in active observation, discussion and synthesis.
- Help create and/or help lead programs, tours and activities for K-12 students or youth groups.
- Respond to visitor groups’ particular needs by adjusting content and interpretive techniques as appropriate.
- Participate in interpretive skill-building opportunities.
- Dedicate time and independent study to broaden knowledge of local history and deepen site-specific expertise.
- Respond with positivity, flexibility, and resiliency when introduced to new research and interpretation strategies.
- Contribute as a member of the Shadows team in creating a healthy work environment.
- Provide support to interpretive staff as a historical and interpretive resource.
- Assist in monitoring collections security (buildings, objects, grounds) and visitor safety, responding calmly and professionally to emergencies and promptly notifying supervisor of incidents or unsafe conditions.
- A high degree of relevant cultural competency, with ability to facilitate engaging experiences on challenging and complex histories with diverse audiences in a spirit of dialogue and inquiry.
- Experience interpreting, teaching, or researching African American history or the history of slavery.
- Passion for creating and leading thoroughly researched, thought-provoking experiences at a site of enslavement, one that was part of a larger, multi-plantation enterprise.
- Experience engaging groups of children and youth aged 6-17.
- Effective presentation skills, including both listening and speaking, plus written communication skills. Bi-lingual fluency (in English and French or Spanish) a plus.
- Ability to work a minimum of 80 hours per month, including some weekends, holidays, and evenings, averaging 20-22 hours/week.
- Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite and social media platforms.
- Minimum physical requirements include but are not limited to: Ability to stand for periods up to 60 minutes; walk over uneven terrain; climb stairs; provide multiple guided tours a day; lift and carry loads of up to 20 pounds on a frequent basis, and to work outdoors in varying weather conditions.
- Relevant combination of work experience, training, certification OR academic studies in History, Africana Studies, Public History, Museum Studies, Indigenous & Native American Studies or related fields.
- Regular and reliable attendance required.