First call for papers
Conference title: Whose history is it anyway? ‘Public’ history in perspective
Date: 5-6 September 2013
Location: University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK
Keynote address: Hilda Kean
This is a multi-disciplinary conference aimed at a wide range of history and heritage practitioners making no distinction between professionals and non-professionals. Papers are thus invited from academic historians, those working or volunteering in the museum, heritage and archives sectors, those working in the media,film makers, funding bodies, policy makers, publishers, along with family, local and community historians.
The discipline of history is at an important juncture in its long-term development. The public financing of archives, museums and higher education history teaching and research are under threat both in the UK and beyond, yet history within the school curriculumlooks set to become a growth area in years to come. History exists within ‘institutionalised’ frameworks: archival holdings, museum collections, listed buildings and conservation areas, protected landscapes, academic teaching and research. Each of these forms of history is dependent upon professionals whose training and expertise allow them to lay claim to be custodians of historical knowledge, or curators of the physical remnants of the past. This professionalized discipline is largely dependent upon public or charitable funding and concerns over public engagement and notions of ‘history from below’ have caused a significant shift in recent decades towards a more open, accessible, egalitarian history that professes to be non-elitist.
Beyond the ‘institutionalised’ forms of the discipline, history is probably more popular than ever: family history, local history and military history in particular are hobbies for millions of non-professional historians, and such large numbers of followers can render this big business indeed. These are joined by unknown thousands enthusiastically engaged in industrial archaeology, historical collecting, metal detection, running voluntary museums or local societies, and historical re-enactment. History exists regardless of the presence of the mediating and curatorial professionals and many ‘amateur’ historians have little direct contact with such professionals.
This conference will explore issues of public engagement in history, the role of professionals in mediating knowledge of history, the role of institutions in interpreting and communicating knowledge and perspectives, and the role that society and the public have in preserving, mediating, creating and communicating their own histories. It is also concerned to explore issues of policy and funding for history research, education, conservation and dissemination.
Alongside general thematic papers, papers exploring issues through specific and focussed case studies are also welcome. Suggested themes include:
Family/community history and heritage
· Public history and personal identity
· Self as history
· Family history
· Online historical communities
Institutionalised history and heritage
· Institutionalised and non-institutionalised history
· History and the documentary record: accessions and archival challenges
· History, artefacts and collections: museums and heritage as public history
History, heritage, politics and funding
· The politics of public history
· Public policy and public history
· Volunteering, charities and public history
History, heritage and class
· Public history, commemoration and class
· History and cultural legacies
· History and popular culture, popular culture as history (religion, sport, music, film etc.)
Public History and social inclusion:
· Migration histories
· Commemorating Black histories
· History, heritage and gender
Presenting history and heritage
· The mediation of history
· Public history online and on television
· History, heritage and visual culture
Proposals are invited for single papers or panels. For a single paper please submit up to 250 words along with a short biographical note, your organisation (if any) and contact details. Prospective panel organisers should submit up to 500 words along with a short biographical note and contact details for each speaker. Work may subsequently be considered for publication.
The deadline for the submission of proposals is 31st January, 2013. Proposals, or enquiries relating to these, should be sent to the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org