Public History, Historical Memory

Scholars in the department are interested in how collective memories of the past are produced and disseminated by a vast array of individuals and institutions across space and time. We study, for example, how individual memory shapes collective memory broader understandings of history; how the past is memorialized and mobilized by cultural and political elites as well as by disenfranchised and marginalized groups; and how museums and filmmakers mobilize historical narratives. Faculty in in the Department of History offer courses that examine the theory, methods, practice, and politics of public history, explore the possibilities and challenges of the production and dissemination of histories in nonacademic settings, and interrogate the intersections of memory and history.

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