Content Categorized ‘public history’

“the emphatic lives of the long dead”

Posted on July 14, 2014 under public history

But for lovers or friends with no past in common the historic past unrolls like a park, like a ridgy landscape full of buildings and people.  To talk of books is, for oppressed shut-in lovers, no way out of themselves; what was written is either dull or too near the heart.  But to walk into […]

Sustainable Practices for Co-Created Exhibits

Posted on March 18, 2014 under museums, public history, Uncategorized

Come to our NCPH session, this Thursday morning at 8:30 as part of the NCPH annual meeting in sunny, convenient Monterey. How can co-created projects become a sustainable part of our work?  This roundtable includes participants who have facilitated recurring co-created exhibits and other projects involving museums, community organizations, students, artists, and other diverse partners. […]

Against nostalgia

Posted on March 8, 2013 under nostalgia, public history | 4 Comments

Nostalgia can be an emotion that gets people interested in the past and that draws them back to their own and their family’s history.  But it’s a distorting force.  It puts a scrim of sentimentalization over real events and real people and recasts challenging, uncomfortable stories as quaint and harmless.  Nostalgia robs history of its […]

Belated Conference Report

Posted on May 1, 2012 under me, museums, public history

It is a testament to the quality and high level of engagement of this year’s NCPH conference that the web is already full of conference reports; here’s mine. The NCPH/OAH meeting in Milwaukee was full of interesting sessions on vital work in the field, passionate people doing good history, free wifi, and excellent beer. I’m […]

History @Work

Posted on March 26, 2012 under blogs, public history | 2 Comments

I’m sure, dear readers, that you are familiar with our only public history professional organization, the National Council on Public History. You may also be familiar with NCPH’s blog on unexpected exhibit practice, Off the Wall, for which I wrote a few posts about history on the internet. Now NCPH has upped the ante with […]

A public history genius

Posted on September 22, 2011 under public history

This year’s MacArthur fellows have been announced, and I was delighted to see that Tiya Miles, a public historian at the University of Michigan whose work on Afro-Cherokee history won an NCPH book award this year, was one of the winners.  (Also, she’s a Minnesota grad.)  Many congratulations! Another historian was among the winners–Jacob Soll, […]

Roundup for 8/12

Posted on August 12, 2011 under history of science, museums, public history | 2 Comments

Since I seem to be blogging again, here’s a links post on recent topics in publichistoryland. Various reports, updates and roundups on the document thieves who targeted historical societies, archives and presidential libraries.   A costumed first-person interpreter at Plimoth Plantation has a piece in The Hairpin entitled The Ladies of the 17th Century Were […]

Public History of Science and Technology

Posted on August 11, 2011 under history of science, history of technology, me, museums, public history | 2 Comments

Remember this conference? This great event about the Public History of Science and Technology will be happening September 11-14 at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC.  The program is up and registration will soon follow. I’ll be talking about cabinets of curiosity and contemporary museum practice on the 13th, and the program is […]


Posted on June 28, 2011 under me, public history

Last week the open access book project Alt-Academy:  Alternative Academic Careers for Humanities Scholars was officially unveiled by our fearless facilitator and editor Bethany Nowviskie.  In it are lots of thoughtful, challenging essays about careers, identities, labor and respect in fields allied to humanities scholarship from colleagues across the world.  There’s a strong showing from […]