Herter Hall 605


Professor “Sam” Redman studies U.S. social, cultural, and intellectual history. He received his B.A. in anthropology and history from the University of Minnesota, Morris and an M.A. and Ph.D. in American history at the University of California, Berkeley. 

Redman is the author of three books. His first book, Bone Rooms: From Scientific Racism to Human Prehistory in Museums was published by Harvard University Press in 2016. Bone Rooms was selected as a Choice Top-25 Outstanding Academic Title, Nature Top-20 book of 2016, and Smithsonian Top History Book of 2016. His second book, Prophets and Ghosts: The Story of Salvage Anthropology (Harvard University Press 2021) explores the history and legacy of salvage anthropology. A review in Science called the book, “A must-read for anyone seeking to confront racist worldviews and make the world a better place for all.” An excerpt of the book appeared in Lapham’s QuarterlyAn episode of the New Books Network podcast about Prophets and Ghosts can be found here. A third book, The Museum: A Short History of Crisis and Resilience was published by NYU Press in 2022. The Museum traces how cultural institutions responded to episodes of crisis over the past century in the United States. A review in The Guardian describes the book as, “a slender, taut work of scholarship that explores how museums have responded to crises both external and internal, beginning with the massive 1865 fire at the Smithsonian.” An episode of NPR’s Museum Confidential featuring the book can be heard here

Before graduate school, Redman worked at the Field Museum of Natural History, Science Museum of Minnesota, and History Colorado. While at Berkeley, Redman served as the Lead Interviewer for the Rosie the Riveter / World War II Homefront Oral History Project. He also helped to organize Berkeley’s Japanese American Confinement Sites Oral History Project and San Francisco - Oakland Bay Bridge Oral History Project. In collaboration with a New York City based non-profit organization, Voices in Contemporary Art, he has co-led Artist Interview Workshops for more than 300 conservators, curators, educators, and arts professionals. 


  • Public history
  • Oral history
  • 19th and 20th century United States history
  • History of museums, history of anthropology
  • Historical research methodology
  • Memory and cultural heritage




  • U.S. History since 1876
  • U.S. Between the World Wars
  • The Craft of History
  • Theory and Method of Oral History
  • Museum and Historic Site Interpretation
  • Introduction to Public History
  • The Professional Lives of Historians