HIST 5702F: Public History Special Topics – “Decolonizing Public History”
Fall 2024

Instructor: Krista McCracken

Introduction:  This course is built around the central question of “what does it mean to practice and study public history through a lens of decolonization?” Using this question as a guide, we will examine decolonizing approaches, methodologies, and actions in relation to public history, archives, museums, and heritage.

Further, this course seeks to understand the ways in which public history practitioners can decenter Eurocentric views while challenging the colonial roots of the profession.  An emphasis will be placed on centering Indigenous voices, Indigenous sovereignty, and Indigenous ownership over Indigenous cultural heritage.

Aims and Goals:  This course will introduce students to the main scholarship and debates surrounding decolonial public history in Canada. It will familiarize students with the methods of decolonial praxis in relation to museums, archives, and heritage. It will pay particular attention to the works of Indigenous scholars, communities, and practitioners.

Course Format: We will meet once a week in a three hour block, with the bulk of that time being used for discussion and collaborative learning.  The course will also feature guest speakers throughout the term.

Assessment: Students will be assessed on participation and reading reflections throughout the course. Over the term there will be a short analysis assignment and a larger final research project on a theme selected by each student.

Texts:  Weekly readings will be equal to two to three scholarly articles or book chapters. All readings will be open access.

Questions? Please email me at KristaMcCracken@cunet.carleton.ca