Why Public History? – deadline 1 September 2017

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Date / time
Date(s) - 7 December - 8 December
All day

Queen's University Belfast


The first annual conference of the Centre for Public History

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 inaugural 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 University), Professor Peter Mandler (tbc) (University of Cambridge), and Professor Jock Phillips (University of 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 should 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.

Venue: Queen’s University Belfast.

Registration fee: £15 (to include teas and coffees, a drinks reception, and lunch on Day 2.

Bursaries: A limited number of bursaries of £300, covering the conference fee, travel, and accommodation, are available for postgraduate and ECR (within three years of PhD) who are delivering a paper. Anyone seeking to avail of this should indicate when emailing their abstract. Twitter #publichistoryatqueens