Instructor: Professor David Dean
Introduction: This is the core seminar course for the MA in Public History. Its purpose is to introduce you to both the theoretical and practical aspects of the field through a critical reading of international and interdisciplinary scholarly literature and to give you the opportunity to engage with some of the key challenges facing public historians today.
Class Format: We will be meeting once a week in a three-hour block. Most of our time will be spent in discussion, but there will be workshops and occasional off site visits. We will also be welcoming practicing public historians as guest speakers into the classroom so that they can share their insights and experiences with us.
Aims and Goals: You will leave the course with a clear understanding of what public history is and how public historians work as well as an awareness of the processes and problems encountered in the practice of public history in a variety of contexts. You will have also had the opportunity to think through issues such as public memory, historical consciousness, critical heritage, authority and power, community and identity.
Assessment: participation, blog journal, poster, and a final course review with a follow up oral exam (one on one with the instructor).
Text: While there is no set text for the course we will be working through David Dean (ed), A Companion to Public History (Wiley, December 2017). Other key works will include Jerome De Groot, Consuming History. Historians and Heritage in Contemporary Popular Culture (Routledge, 2009), Sharon Macdonald, Memorylands. Heritage and Identity in Europe Today (Routledge, 2013), and James E. Young, Stages of Memory. Reflections on Memorial Art, Loss, and the Spaces Between (University of Massachusetts Press, 2016)