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CFP: Why Public History

Submission deadline: September 1, 2017

Conference date(s):
December 7, 2017 - December 8, 2017

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Conference Venue:

School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics, Queen's University Belfast
Belfast, United Kingdom

Topic areas


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 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.

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