Tag Archive

methods

Historical thinking and the place of history in public policy development

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Henk Visch, “Man with Two Hats,” National Canadian Liberation monument, Apeldoorn, the Netherlands. Photo credit: Brbbl

For the past seventeen years, I have worn two hats every day that I’ve gone to work. The first one is my historian hat, as I’m the staff historian for the Canadian department of Indigenous and Northern Affairs where I research the history of the institution, prepare materials for public consumption and answer questions relating to the 260-year history of Canada’s policies towards Indigenous peoples. Read More

Public history in the classroom

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Sharing Stories: College students and teens dialoging at the community center.” Photo credit: Elizabeth Belanger

Over the past weeks my project colleagues have provided glimpses into public history’s “Radical Roots.” In these posts, key figures and sites have emerged: Gene Weltfish at the American Civilization Institute of Morristown, the campers and counselors at Camp Woodland , and Louis Jones at Cooperstown Graduate Program Read More

How historians work

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“History”  Photo credit Blacren

Historians often remark that we need to do a better job of letting others in on the ways we explore and understand the past. (That was the impetus for a thought-provoking series from The Public Historian and [email protected] a couple of years ago.) In a time when “alternate facts,” outright fabrications, and diametrically opposed versions of reality shape the American political landscape as perhaps seldom before, that task seems all the more urgent. Read More

Mass collaboration and historical synthesis in “The American Yawp”

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American Yawp home page. Screenshot courtesy Joseph Locke

“The American Yawp” home page. Screenshot courtesy Joseph Locke

The American Yawp, the profession’s first multi-authored open textbook, contains thirty chapters and almost 300,000 words. It covers everything from indigenous creation stories to Instagram. How, with historical input accelerating and the scope of scholarship expanding, could any individual or small group of historians hope to capture the breadth of American history and to do so as expansively as a textbook demands? Read More

Building an interdisciplinary discipline

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hand-drawn map

Amanda Lyons of Visuals for Change was the visual note-taker at the March 2016 history communicators summit at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Image credit: Amanda Lyons

When I put the words “history” and “communication” together nearly two years ago, I never imagined it would elicit as much discussion and controversy as it has. Read More

Finding the intersection of technology and public history

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Photo credit: The Tire Zoo, on Flickr

Photo credit: The Tire Zoo

Digital technology has enabled public historians, cultural heritage professionals, and history students to collaborate with diverse audiences and explore history’s role in civic engagement in ways previously unimagined. The partnership between the Virtual City Project and the Restoration Group described by Andrew Hurley in “Chasing the Frontiers of Digital Technology: Public History Meets the Digital Divide” demonstrates the exciting possibilities as well as challenges advanced digital tools provide, especially in the face of limited budgets, long software development cycles, and varying levels of digital access. Read More