Call for Proposals from Early Career Researchers: Public History – Beyond Impact and Engagement

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Call for Papers
October 19, 2020
Subject Fields: 
Cultural History / Studies, Graduate Studies, Local History, Public History, Oral History

We are pleased to invite Early Career Researchers to submit proposals for a special Early Career Researcher-focused issue of History, the journal of the Historical Association, for publication in December 2021. The theme of the issue is “Public History – Beyond Impact and Engagement”. 

This special issue will focus on public history, broadly defined. Frequently presented in the academy as fodder for ‘impact and engagement’ sections in grant applications, research evaluation metrics, and career progression. This issue hopes to interrogate ‘Public History’ as a positive in and of itself, examining its possibilities and addressing its boundaries and hierarchies.  Themes for inquiry might include, but are not limited to: 

  • Methods of public and applied history
  • Academic research and/with museums, heritage sites, archives
  • Historical work for and with government, the voluntary sector, and private sector
  • History with/for local communities
  • Historians and family history
  • History and/in the media and popular culture
  • The mutual benefits of public history: for researchers based in universities and elsewhere, for the history and heritage sector, and for the public
  • The limitations of historical work conducted primarily in/by academic institutions
  • The reproduction of intellectual boundaries and hierarchies in the delineation of ‘public’ history
  • Pedagogy and public history; public history as pedagogy
  • Public history online
  • History and activism
  • (Mis)representations of history to the public.

Submissions that address any historical period and any part of the world are welcome. We actively encourage collaborative and multi-authored pieces by authors from different countries, different disciplines, or different sectors, inside/outside academia.  There are no predetermined criteria for ‘early career’, in recognition of existing structures of precarity and inequality. We are particularly interested in contributions written by individuals and groups whose voices are typically underrepresented in academia.

 We welcome submissions that adopt both traditional and non-traditional formats, such as:

  • Original research articles (of up to 10,000 words)
  • Shorter focus pieces or provocations (around 5,000 words with fewer footnotes)
  • Debate or conversational ‘roundtable’ pieces
  • Opinion pieces
  • Reviews or review articles (of publications, exhibitions, or other examples of public history)
  • Spotlight articles
  • Interviews/ conversations.

If you have any questions about a possible format, please get in touch.


Submission Details:

Please send an e-mail before October 19th 2020 with a short (150 word) proposal, including provisional title and suggested format for your contribution. Please also include a short biographical statement for the proposed contributor(s), including area of expertise, interests, affiliation (if applicable), and any other relevant information. We will respond to all submissions by November 2nd.

Please note that selection for the submission of a full piece does not guarantee publication in the special issue. All submissions will be subject to peer review. History works to provide considerate, constructive, and prompt peer review for all submitted work. 

Final submissions must conform to the author conventions of the journal. Please click here for the full guidelines. The deadline for full submissions is March 1st, 2021.

Proposals and any questions should be sent to the ECR editors of this special issue: Laura Doak, Hannah Parker, Annemieke Romein, Janet Weston, at