Skip to content Skip to main navigation Report an accessibility issue

Patricia Rutenberg

Distinguished Lecturer


Throughout my career as a historian, I have been engaged in the work of public history and teaching.  As a public historian, I have served as the Director of the Tennessee Presidents Trust, which supported the publication of the papers of the three U.S. presidents from the state of Tennessee. I was the Executive Director of the Blount Mansion Association, and I was commissioned by the Court Historical Society to research and write a book, Justice in the Valley: A Bicentennial Perspective of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee.

I have served on numerous museum and public history boards, including the Knoxville Museum of Art, the Tennessee Historical Society, and the Knoxville History Project. I also serve on the Beck Cultural Corridor Planning Committee and the Bijou Theater Historical Working Group. I have been fortunate to have participated in two summer seminars sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities. 

Currently, I teach The City as History: Introduction to Public History, a course that introduces upper division history majors to the field of public history. I regularly teach Development of Western Civilization, including the Honors course. Before coming to UT, I also served in leadership and faculty positions in independent schools in the Southeast. 

Research Interests

Twentieth Century American political and social history.


Ph.D., University of Tennessee, 1988

Selected Publications

  • Justice in the Valley: A Bicentennial History of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee. (Franklin, Tennessee: Hillsboro Press, 1998.)

Contact Information