Stephen Fagin, a graduate of the College of Liberal Studies Museum Studies Program, has recently written a book entitled Assassination and Commemoration: JFK, Dallas, and the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza. The book is published by University of Oklahoma Press.
Fagin begins his book by retracing the events that culminated in Lee Harvey Oswald’s shooting at the presidential motorcade on November 22, 1963. He also details the unstable political climate in Dallas during that time as well as the shame that haunted the city following the assassination. Fagin then discusses the formation of The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza and the challenges that went into creating the museum.
Fagin has always had an interest in the Kennedy assassination, which led him to seek an internship with the museum while an undergraduate history and English double major at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. This internship led to a full-time job coordinating the museum’s ongoing Oral History Project, which then led him to seek a Master of Arts degree in Museum Studies from OU’s College of Liberal Studies while still working for the museum. This program, which may be completed 100 percent online, allowed Fagin to continue working while finishing his graduate degree. He graduated from OU in 2009 and is currently associate curator and oral historian at The Sixth Floor Museum.
“I do not hesitate to say that my work in oral history, collections and exhibitions at The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza is really a dream job for me,” Fagin said. “My graduate work at OU has, I believe, made me a much more confident and amplified museum professional. I went the opposite route of many by choosing experience before education, but now that I have both under my belt, I look forward to many more years working on the exciting projects that this museum provides to me.”
Like the Sixth Floor Museum itself, Assassination and Commemoration helps readers understand a community’s confrontation with tragedy while exploring the various ways that societies preserve the past.