3 thoughts on “Call for comments: why is public history as it is where you are?

  1. Just a thought, but perhaps a historical re-evaluation of moments of public history could be informative. I have in mind a special interest of mine, the ‘Historikerstreit’ in the FRG , sparked by President Reagan’s and Chancellor Kohl’s visit to the military cemetery at Bitberg. What followed, spurred by Jurgen Habermas, was a very public – in the newspapers – debate among historians about the role of historians in reflecting and informing public views of how to integrate the atrocity of Nazism into a public memory and a history as a process of regaining national self-esteem.

  2. I’m just about to finish a thesis chapter on this topic – looking very narrowly though – at why queer public history has evolved so differently in different countries. The US has just seen the National Park Service launch an LGBT Heritage Initiative, the latest in a long line of projects aimed to reveal the hidden and marginalised histories of still marginalised groups today. There is no such equivalent in the UK, and it’s hard to even imagine English Heritage launching a similar programme! Andrea Witcomb sums this US approach in this great short video – http://vimeo.com/15839052 and I would suggest that the UK approach is far more like the Australian approach, as we too have very few specialist identity museums. Witcomb suggests that these differences are culturally informed, but I would also add politically too. For example, one of the reasons that queer public history in the UK is not as successful as either in the US or Australia is Section 28, which I’ve written about here: http://www.historymatters.group.shef.ac.uk/suppression-lgbtlegacy-section-28/
    For me, a more diverse public history is one of the major issues to approach in the upcoming years, and it’s a long time overdue!

    I think asking ‘why’ is a really great way to change the way we approach ‘what is public history’ – and I can’t wait to hear more about the discussion!

  3. Hi Alix,

    Contributions derived from our IFPH sponsored conference last year 2013 (http://ifph.hypotheses.org/101) about “Uses and abuses of History: the first Public History international conference in Greece” (Volos, August-September 2013) is now available.

    **All essays are in English and not in Greek or Italian, so easy to read for international publics**.

    The edited volume (Giorgios Antoniou) is with the Journal “Ricerche Storiche” – A. XLIV, N. 1, gennaio-aprile 2014: History and the Public Sphere in Contemporary Greece http://www.polistampa.com/asp/sl.asp?id=6222.

    Many good papers to discover see here:

    HISTORY AND THE PUBLIC SPHERE IN CONTEMPORARY GREECE
    G. Antoniou, Introduction
    A.P. Andreou, K. Kasvikis, Thessaloniki-Bitola: Public versions of the Macedonian History in two statues of King Philip II
    K. Katsanos, The Macedonian Question in the 1950’s: Public History, Politics and Historians in Greece and People’s Republic of Macedonia
    E. Paschaloudi, G. Antoniou, Remembering the Greek Resistance: Politics of Memory, Reconciliation and Oblivion
    S. Dordanas, Goldhagen, the “New Wave” and “Debates on History”: Aspects and Terms of Public History in Germany and Greece
    K. Kornetis, Public History and the Issue of Torture Under the Colonels’ Regime in Greece
    H. Athanasiades, The “nation-killing” textbook. The polemic over the history textbook In Modern and Contemporary Times (2006-2007)
    M. Bilalis, Viral histories: Historical culture on Greek digital networks
    T. Vervenioti, Grassroots Oral history groups in times of economic crisis

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