Public History Symposium 2018




‘Making a Difference’

2018 Royal Historical Society Public History Symposium

Friday 16th March, 9.30am-6.00pm

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham

Inaugurated in 2015 and offered in partnership with the Historical Association and the Institute of Historical Research’s Public History Seminar, the RHS Public History Prize celebrates work in Museums & Exhibitions, Film & TV, Radio & Podcasts, Online Resources, Public Debate & Policy, as well as work undertaken by students. The results of the RHS Public History Prize were announced on Friday 26 January 2018 and details of the winners can be viewed here.

This symposium, co-organized with the University of Birmingham and Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery, showcases work from all categories and includes provocations from award winners. The afternoon will feature a workshop with Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery curators around their new gallery, ‘The Past is Now: Birmingham and the British Empire’, which has been co-curated with activists and explores the challenges of depicting the past of empire in contemporary Britain.

Schedule for the day:

9.30 Coffee and registration

10.00-10.20 Welcome: Margot Finn, President of the RHS and Ellen McAdam, Director of Birmingham Museums Trust

10.20-10.50 Jackie Keily: Crossrail (Museums category winner)

10.50 -11.50 Claire Alexander and Sundeep Lidher: Our Migration Story (Online category winner) and Cherish Watton: Women’s Land Army (Undergraduate category winner)

11.50-12.10 Comfort break

12.10-12.40 Adrian Bingham: Historicising ‘Historical’ Child Sexual Abuse (Policy and Public Debate category winner)

12.40-1.30 lunch

1.30-2.10 Keynote. Kavita Puri: Partition Voices (Radio & Podcasts category and Overall winner)

2.10-3.10 David Olusoga: Black and British (Film & TV category winner) and Joe Hopkinson: Immigrant children in Huddersfield (Postgraduate category winner)

3.10-3.45 Coffee break and curator’s tour of ‘The Past is Now’ gallery [tour leaves 3.20]: Rebecca Bridgman

3.45-4.15 Curator’s talk about designing ‘The Past is Now’ gallery: Rebecca Bridgman

4.15-5.00 Final panel: 3 responses to the gallery; concluding discussion ‘making a difference’ in Public History


This event was organised by Melanie Ransom who was then a staff-member of the RHS.