The Northern State University Center for Public History and Civic Engagement - through programming, research, and archival preservation - encourages public interaction with history and history education while promoting greater civic knowledge of an active citizenry.

The center also promotes the importance of historical and civic knowledge as the foundation for a sound republican form of government, hoping to inspire greater appreciation for American history and American constitutional forms.


What We Do

The center:

  • Engages in archival work and research on collections such as Germans from Russia, The South Dakota National Guard, and regional Native American history
  • Sponsors programming such as Constitution Day, National History Day, and campus speakers who promote historic and civic literacy and engagement
  • Recruits students for the South Dakota State Legislative Internship


Professor Jon D. Schaff is director of the center. He has been at Northern since 2001. He studies American political thought and American political development. He is the author of many book chapters, articles, and essays as well as two books: Abraham Lincoln and the Limits of Liberal Democracy and Age of Anxiety: Meaning, Identity, and Politics in 21st Century Literature and Film (co-authored).


Jon D. Schaff

Office: Tech Center 356

Phone: 605-626-2356