Why Public History? The first annual conference of the Centre for Public History (Belfast, UK)

Tom Hulme Announcement
United Kingdom
Subject Fields
Public History, Historic Preservation, Humanities, Oral History, Public Policy

Why Public History? The first annual conference of the Centre for Public History - 7-8 December 2017, Queen's University Belfast 

In Autumn 2017 the School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics at Queen's University Belfast is launching its new Centre for Public History. An interdisciplinary initiative, the Centre aims to provide a broad approach to the multi-faceted method of public history - in theory, application, and critique. This inaugaral annual conference begins that task by seeking to assess the current state of the discipline. It asks a simple but vital question: in an age of 'fake news', 'history wars', and 'impact agendas', what role do scholars and practitioners have in shaping the relationship between the public and the place of the past?

Reflective keynote lectures will be given by leading scholars in the field: Professor Ludmilla Jordanova (Durham), Professor Peter Mandler (tbc) (Cambridge), and Professor Jock Phillips (Auckland). 

Possible themes include:

  • Difficult or contentious public histories
  • Commemoration and identity
  • Film, popular history and memory
  • Heritage and regeneration
  • Conservation and preservation
  • Oral history and public engagement 
  • Policy - local, national, international 

We invite individual 20-minute papers, or panels of 3 papers, on these themes from any historical period or geographic locale, and encourage comparative work. Abstracts sholuld not exceed 250 words, and should be accompanied by a short CV and sent to publichistory@qub.ac.uk by 1 September 2017. Notification of acceptance will be sent by 20 September 2017.

The conference will feature the annual Keith Jeffery Memorial Lecture, to be delivered this year by Professor Jock Phillips. 

The registration fee is £15, which includes tea/coffee, a drinks reception, and lunch on Day 2. A limited number of bursaries of £300 (covering the conference fee, travel, and accommodation) are avaialble for postgraduates and ECRs within three years of their PhD who are delivering a paper. Anyone seeking a bursary should indicate this when emailing their abstract. 

Twitter - #publichistoryatqueens

Contact Information

Centre for Public History, Queen's University Belfast

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