The next IHR Public History seminar brings Glen O’Hara, former journalist now Reader in the History of Public Policy at Oxford Brookes (whose many blogging activities include his own Public Policy and the Past) together with Ben Chu, Economics Editor of the Independent.
The format and approach of this session will be a bit different – more of a workshop than a seminar. It’s about giving historians some advice on how to use new technologies – such as social media or ‘blogging’ – to embed and deepen their presentational skills for the purposes of media engagement, and to attract attention to their work from the world outside academe.
Glen and Ben will each talk briefly about what is and what is not useful for journalists (and the private sector more broadly) in historial work – and what will not work so well. There will then be an open discussion to explore what does and does not constitute ‘popular’ or ‘accessible’ writing.
This discussion responds to a context in which historians are under immense pressure to make their work ‘relevant’. Some Ministers are under the impression that humanities subjects are ‘ivory towers’ indulgences; undergradatute recruitment is set to become ever more competitive, forcing academics to reach out to wider audiences; and of course there is the pressure of the Research Excellence Framework ‘impact’ agenda, which asks all Higher Education Professionals to consider the societal relevance of their work.
The seminar will be held in room S264, 2nd floor Senate House. Drinks will be served. All are, as ever, very welcome! Seminar will be live tweeted and a podcast will follow.