6 thoughts on “The utility of an international vision of public history

  1. Pingback: Reblogged: The utility of an international vision of public history | Cultural and Heritage Tourism

  2. I think what you have to say about shared methodologies is spot-on. A close friend of mine is living in Portugal and recently sent me a mini-review of a museum she visited (the Aljubarrata http://www.fundacao-aljubarrota.pt/). She was particularly struck by the way in which the museum’s combination of immersive theater and authentic documentation appealed to a diverse audience ranging from little boys who enjoyed running around the fort impersonating soldiers to international visitors excited to learn about the medieval manuscripts that had provided the source material for the museum’s interpretive program. There are lessons for us all to learn from each other, indeed.

    • Thanks, Adina, for catching this: Methodology. What is particularly important about sharing methodology for the places I example is that they have “hard” histories to interpret and share. And more important still, they’re trying to make these histories and the memory of them relevant/practical in today’s world, to address contemporary issues and concerns. Doing this with limited resources (human, economic, etc) requires collaboration, sharing, creativity, etc. So, methodologically speaking, how can/do sites connected to human rights violations, resistance to them, etc 1) reach broader audiences and 2) make the past-present connect to contemporary issues. How do we make the past useful in the present? How can public historians help this process?

  3. A very interesting post!

    I note that many of the points raised are similar to the goals and aspirations of the recently established International Federation for Public History (IFPH). We’ve been working to establish new linkages and new forms of conversation which will allow public history practitioners to learn from each others experiences. The IFPH will be holding its first conference in conjunction with the NCPH annual meeting in Ottawa this coming April with representatives from a dozen countries participating. Hopefully you’ll be there to further the “globalization” of Public History!

  4. Hi Jean-Pierre. Thanks so much for your attention to this topic and, more importantly, helping kick-start conversations concerning the IFPH. From an anecdotal experience, I would steer you and the IFPH folk to the good work and collaborative conversations happening between member sites of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience. I’m sure you’re aware of this organization but TPH Vol 30. No. 1 (Feb 2008) will give you a good look into its origins and members’ work. Also, the wesbite: http://www.sitesofconscience.org. Hopefully we’ll be seeing each other in Ottawa!

  5. Pingback: When public history goes global: Discussing international teaching practices | History@Work

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