Week 11: Public History and Digital History

In this unit, we will explore:

  • the definition of “public history” and its goals, methods, and relationship to the academic field
  • how digital platforms provide new methods for engaging broad non-academic audiences
  • the potential challenges with using digital tools for public historical engagement
Tuesday, November 5

Note: It’s been a little while since we used our reading journals, so don’t forget to journal about the reading, and take a minute to remind yourself of the guidelines for journaling.

Questions you might consider as you read:

  • How do the approaches and methods of digital history and public history overlap?
  • How might we mitigate the liabilities highlighted by Andrew Hurley and Leslie Madsen-Brooks?
  • What are the potential challenges for historians doing the kind of public engagement that Kevin Kruse does on social media?

About the Field: How Do We Define Public History?National Council on Public History.

Hurley, Andrew. “Chasing the Frontiers of Digital Technology.” The Public Historian 38, no. 1 (February 1, 2016): 69–88.

Leslie Madsen-Brooks, “I Nevertheless Am a Historian”: Digital Historical Practice and Malpractice around Black Confederate Soldiers” in Dougherty, Kristen Nawrotzki; Jack. Writing History in the Digital Age, 2013.

Sommers, Shannon. “An Interview with Kevin Kruse, History Professor and Twitter Legend.” The Politic (blog), February 19, 2019.  (also see Kevin Kruse’s historical threads on Twitter)
Thursday, November 7

In-class Poor Farm Project work.

We will meet in teams, and work on tasks that remain outstanding. Please make every effort to be present and prepared.