Tag Archive

TPH 38.1

It’s not “just a musical”

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TPH_38_1_Covers low rez-1In the four months since my review of Hamilton: An American Musical was first published in The Public Historian, my ideas have been met with a wide variety of reactions.

This blog published four responses to the piece, including one by Annette Gordon-Reed, who wrote that my review was an expression of “our duty to use what we know of history and culture to comment” on artistic explorations of the past. Read More

Digital community engagement across the divides

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In 2008, the Journal of American History published a conversation among several historians regarding the future of digital history. William G. Thomas III  said, “We might imagine a more proximate collaboration in which historians team up with [community] groups. The Web 2.0 movement might allow historians and the public to make history together rather than separately. Read More

Finding the intersection of technology and public history

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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

Hamilton: The Musical: Blacks and the founding fathers

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This past August, I went with a group of historians to see the much acclaimed, and now Grammy-winning, musical, Hamilton. Our timing was just right. The ticket prices were reasonable (for the Great White Way), costing nowhere near the astronomical sums people pay now. Read More

Meeting our audiences where they are in the digital age

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In his article, “Chasing the Frontiers of Digital Technology: Public History Meets the Digital Divide,” Andrew Hurley does the public history community a great service. He does more than tell us a cautionary tale about rushing headlong into digital approaches to public history and leaving target audiences behind. Read More

History and performance: Hamilton: An American Musical

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Public historians have spent a good deal of time looking at how history is performed in museums and living history sites, in reenactments, and on film and television. Theatre, opera, and musicals have received far less attention, and one reason for this might be that these forms of representation are often thought of as elitist.[1] Read More

Audience analysis and the role of the digital in community engagement

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As a public historian working on the collaborative digital platform Historypin, I second Andrew Hurley’s assertion, in his article “Chasing the Frontiers of Digital Technology: Public History Meets the Digital Divide,” that introducing more traditional methods of engagement can, and most often is required to, enhance the efficacy of the digital tools within a public history project. Read More

A color-blind Stockholm syndrome

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The American narrative, like any cultural narrative, consists of stories that structure and assign meaning to the nation’s origin, history, and existence. In theory, this narrative can link Americans who have experienced genocide, slavery, and white privilege. But for people descended from enslaved peoples, this narrative has instead been used to conceal the inconvenient truths of systemic historic and current racial injustice and inequality. Read More

Who tells your story?

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Lyra Monteiro is certainly right, when she notes in her review of Hamilton: An American Musical, that mainstream American culture has a lamentable tendency to embrace and retell certain stories about American history, including that of the founders, with greater frequency and enthusiasm than the many other stories that require more difficult reckonings with the past. Read More