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Centre for Public History

Welcome to the Centre for Public History

The Centre for Public History provides a lively hub for people engaged in researching, teaching, and practicing public history. It seeks to nurture excellent research, provide a forum for debate, and develop working dialogue between academics, practitioners, and the public around issues relating to the practice of history in the public sphere. Research associated with the Centre focuses on a wide range of national and global contexts, historical periods, and disciplines, while our location in Northern Ireland provides a unique environment in which to explore many key issues around public engagement with, and consumption of, the past.

We work with a wide range of partner organisations, such as National Museums NI, the Mellon Centre for Migration Studies, and Queen's own QUOTE hub. We engage with both local and international history and heritage professionals to ensure that we are at the cutting edge of public history research and teaching. Our members are involved in a wide range of public history initiatives, from TV consultation, to creating apps, to reports for government working groups. 

At the heart of our public history offerings are the wide range of events which offer members of the public, historians, and  practitioners the chance to engage, discuss, and debate. In term time the Centre hosts monthly seminars, with invited speakers who research a wide range of public history topics, both global and local in scope. The Centre also runs the new Histories in the Making series, which invites public history professionals to come and discuss a recent project they have been involved in. The first of these events saw Marie-Louise Muir (BBC NI) interview the creators of the Ulster Museum's 'The Troubles and Beyond' exhibition, William Blair and Karen Logan.

We also host a number of annual lectures where we invite world leading public history researchers and practitioners to Belfast to discuss their work. The Centre is proud to host the Keith Jeffery Annual Public History Lecture, which began in 2016, provides a platform for a senior scholar to reflect on contemporary issues in public history. Our crowning event is the Centre for Public History Annual Conference, which is held every year in December.

As part of our commitment to disseminating the latest research and educating keen public historians, we have created an MA in Public History to help train the next generation of public history professionals. This innovative course, taught by a range of academics with real world public history experience, and by professionals who hold regular seminars and masterclasses, offers a wide range of theoretical perspectives and practical opportunities with our partner organisations.


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