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A Companion to Public History

A Companion to Public History

David M. Dean (Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-118-50893-0 August 2018 Wiley-Blackwell 576 Pages

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An authoritative overview of the developing field of public history reflecting theory and practice around the globe

This unique reference guides readers through this relatively new field of historical inquiry, exploring the varieties and forms of public history, its relationship with popular history, and the ways in which the field has evolved internationally over the past thirty years. Comprised of thirty-four essays written by a group of leading international scholars and public history practitioners, the work not only introduces readers to the latest scholarly academic research, but also to the practice and pedagogy of public history. It pays equal attention to the emergence of public history as a distinct field of historical inquiry in North America, the importance of popular history and ‘history from below’ in Europe and European colonial-settler states, and forms of historical consciousness in non-Western countries and peoples. It also provides a timely guide to the state of the discipline, and offers an innovative and unprecedented engagement with methodological and theoretical problems associated with public history.

Generously illustrated throughout, The Companion to Public History’s chapters are written from a variety of perspectives by contributors from all continents and from a wide variety of backgrounds, disciplines, and experiences. It is an excellent source for getting readers to think about history in the public realm, and how present day concerns shape the ways in which we engage with and represent the past.

  • Cutting-edge companion volume for a developing area of study
  • Comprises 36 essays by leading authorities on all aspects of public history around the world
  • Reflects different national/regional interpretations of public history
  • Offers some essays in teachable forms: an interview, a roundtable discussion, a document analysis, a photo essay.
  • Covers a full range of public history practice, including museums, archives, memorial sites as well as historical fiction, theatre, re-enactment societies and digital gaming
  • Discusses the continuing challenges presented by history within our broad, collective memory, including museum controversies, repatriation issues, ‘textbook’ wars, and commissions for Truth and Reconciliation

The Companion is intended for senior undergraduate students and graduate students in the rapidly growing field of public history and will appeal to those teaching public history or who wish to introduce a public history dimension to their courses.

List of Illustrations xi

Notes on Contributors xv

Acknowledgments xxv

Introduction 1
David Dean

Prologue: Orphan Cupboards Full of Histories 13
Annemarie de Wildt

Part I Identifying Public History 17

1 Complicating Origin Stories: The Making of Public History into an Academic Field in the United States 19
Rebecca Conard

2 Where Is Public History? 33
Hilda Kean

3 Consuming Public History: Russian Ark 45
Jerome de Groot

4 Historians on the Inside: Thinking with History in Policy 59
Alix R. Green

Part II Situating Public History 75

5 Nation, Difference, Experience: Negotiating Exhibitions at the National Museum of Australia 77
Kirsten Wehner

6 Archive Fever, Ghostly Histories 97
Carolyn Steedman

7 Digital Public History 111
Serge Noiret

8 Popularizing the Past through Graphic Novels: An Interview with Catherine Clinton, Author of Booth 125
Elizabeth Paradis and Catherine Clinton

9 Becoming a Center: Public History, Assembly, and State Formation in Canada’s Capital City, 1880–1939 135
John C. Walsh

Part III Doing Public History 147

10 Looking the Tiger in the Eye: Oral History, Heritage Sites, and Public Culture 149
Indira Chowdhury

11 Storytelling, Bertolt Brecht, and the Illusions of Disciplinary History 163
Steven High

12 Genealogy and Family History 175
Tanya Evans

13 The Power of Things: Agency and Potentiality in the Work of Historical Artifacts 187
Sandra H. Dudley

14 An Unfinished Story: Nation Building in Kyrgyzstan 201
Gulnara Ibraeva

Part IV Using Public History 215

15 Colonialism Revisited: Public History and New Zealand’s Waitangi Tribunal 217
Michael Belgrave

16 Repatriation: A Conversation 231
George Abungu, Te Herekiekie Herewini, Richard Handler, and John Moses

17 The Transformative Power of Memory: Notes on the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Canada in Light of the Colombian Experience 243
Patrick Morales Thomas

18 Sophiatown and the Politics of Commemoration 263
Natasha Erlank

19 Tourism and Heritage Sites of the Atlantic Slave Trade and Slavery 277
Ana Lucia Araujo

Part V Preserving Public History 289

20 Material Culture as History: Science and the International Ordering of Heritage Preservation 291
Tim Winter

21 Preservation and Heritage: The Case of Al‐Jazeera Al‐Hamra in the United Arab Emirates 301
Hamad M. Bin Seray

22 Centennial Dilemmas 311
John H. Sprinkle, Jr.

23 Preserving Public History: Historic House Museums 321
Linda Young

24 Placing the Photograph: Digital Composite Images and the Performance of Place 333
James Opp

Part VI Performing Public History 349

25 Reenacting and Reimagining the Past 351
Amy M. Tyson

26 Reenacting the Stone Age: Journeying Back in Time Through the Uckermark and Western Pomerania 365
Vanessa Agnew

27 Performing Continuity, Performing Belonging: Three Cabarets from the Terezín Ghetto 377
Lisa Peschel

28 Performing History: Jongos, Quilombos, and the Memory of Illegal Atlantic Slave Trade in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 391
Hebe Mattos and Martha Abreu

29 Video Games as Participatory Public History 405
Jeremiah McCall

Part VII Contesting Public History 417

30 Public Historians and Conflicting Memories in Northern Ireland 419
Thomas Cauvin

31 Trauma and Memory 431
Jenny Edkins

32 Museums and National History in Conflict: Two Case Studies in Taiwan 441
Chia‐Li Chen

33 Between Public History and History Education 455
Joanna Wojdon

34 Labeling History: Localizing Olives and Negotiating the Greek Past in Turkey 465
Helin Burkay

Epilogue: To Put Your Signature: Tanzania’s Graffiti Movement 479
Seth M. Markle

Bibliography 483

Index 533