Joana Arruda, Independent Historian

Proposal Type


  • Seeking Additional Presenters
Related Topics
  • Government Historians
  • Preservation

This panel will explore past and present examples of American cultural institutions that collaborated internationally in public historical contexts. In the post-World War II period, several governmental and nongovernmental organizations such as UNESCO, ICOMOS, and the National Park Service Division of International Affairs were formed to work together on the newly constructed idea of World Heritage and offered technical assistance overseas. What is the legacy of this history, and how does this work continue today? How has what we consider “public history” in the United States been enacted abroad?


I wrote my master’s thesis on the history of the National Park Service Division of International Affairs, founded in 1961 to offer technical assistance to nations overseas working to establish their own national parks. In order to round out this newly emerging conversation about the role the export of American history-making processes overseas, I am looking for two more panelists who are working on similar research or who themselves have worked or are currently working on international collaboration projects. While my focus was on the NPS, other suggestions are encouraged.


  1. How has American power been exercised overseas in the context of heritage management, public history, etc.?
  2. What are the effects of this exchange?
  3. What can we learn today about the past of exporting history-making processes overseas?

If you have a direct offer of assistance, sensitive criticism, or wish to pass along someone’s contact information confidentially, please get in contact directly: Joana Arruda, [email protected]

If you have general ideas or feedback to share, please feel free to use the comments feature below.

All feedback and offers of assistance should be submitted by July 2, 2017.


  1. Richard Harker says:

    Hi Joana,

    I am writing a lot about American public history and power in the context of a more recent example of American cultural diplomacy: Museums Connect. One of my central questions revolves around: what does “shared authority” mean/look like in an international/transnational context. It seems like we have a number of over-lapping interests and i’d be very interested in joining you and learning more about your work.

    Many thanks-


    1. Joana Arruda says:

      Hi Robert,

      I apologize for just now responding to your comment, as I just noticed your response today. Yes, absolutely, it sounds like there is quite a bit overlap in our research, and I’d love to discuss further. Please send me an email to the address listed on my posting. Thank you!

  2. Melissa Barthelemy says:

    Sounds like a fascinating topic.

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