Peter Noll, Associate Professor of Public History and Museum Studies, joined the Tusculum faculty in 2011.
Dr. Noll earned a PhD from the Agricultural History and Rural Studies program at Iowa State University in 2011, an MA in Historical Administration in 2002 from Eastern Illinois University, and a BA in History from North Central College in 2000. In his research, Dr. Noll studies the ways in which culture, infrastructure, and economics affected the agricultural landscape and built environment of ethnic enclaves across the nineteenth-century Midwest. Peter looks forward to future research projects on the development and popularization of clay drain tile. Of particular interest are the social institutions rural inhabitants created at the local level to administer what would eventually become one of the largest and most revolutionary, yet virtually invisible, infrastructural improvements in the United States history.
In between academic experiences, Dr. Noll gained valuable experiences at several historical institutions. He first appreciated the usefulness of museum education when he went to work after college as a blacksmith at the local history museum in Naperville, Illinois. After several minor flesh wounds, and at least one experience setting his pants on fire, Peter made the prudent decision to pursue graduate work in museum studies. After completing his MA, he found a position which required less work with molten steel. As Program Coordinator at Volkening Heritage Farm in Schaumburg, IL, Peter oversaw the museum collection, the interpretive program, and assisted in the day-to-day operations of running a small horse-powered dairy farm in the midst of Chicago’s suburban landscape. Peter also learned from terrific experiences working at Iowa Living History Farms, Iowa State University Special Collections and volunteering at Apple River Fort State Historic Site, Wagner Farm Museum, Connor Prairie Interactive History Park and while serving as Editor-in-Chief for the Midwest Open-Air Museums Coordinating Council (a regional affiliate of the Association for Living History Farm and Agricultural Museums).