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The Public History Reader

by: ;
ISBN: 9780415520409 | 0415520401
Edition: 1st
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Routledge
Pub. Date: 4/22/2013

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Drawing on theory and practice from five continents The Public History Readeroffers clearly written accessible introductions to debates in public history. It places people, such as practitioners, bloggers, archivists, local historians, curators or those working in education, at the heart of history-making and discusses practical examples of artists, collectors, novelists, activists, curators, those paid to write history and those who do it for fun. Hilda Kean and Paul Martin address the historical imagination through such concepts as 'embodiment' and 'nostalgia' whilst using practical examples to demonstrate them. The Reader explores public history as an everyday practice rather than simply as an academic discipline. It is embedded in the idea that historical knowledge is discovered and accrued from everyday encounters people have with their environments and points to the continuing dialogue that the present has with the past, exploring why this has burgeoned on a popular level in recent years. Divided into three parts, part I looks at who makes history, focusing on the ways in which the past has taken on a heightened popular sense of importance in the present and the ways in which it is used. Accordingly, history, far from being 'fixed' in time, is fluid and is re-made to serve contemporary agendas or needs in the present. Part II addresses the question of materials and approaches to making history. By using material more commonly within the domain of artists, collectors or geographers and archaeologists, public historians have opened up understandings of the past. Part III looks at the way presentations of the past change over time and their different forms and emphases.Throughout the Reader emphasises the challenges for public historians today. Using their own expertise in constructing and teaching a Public History MA, Hilda Kean and Paul Martin have suggested themes and indicative extracts that draw on their understanding of what works best with students. The Public History Readeris, therefore, a perfect resource for all students of Public History and all those interested in understanding the role of the past in our lives today.


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