PUBLIC HISTORY SEMINARS
26 October: Marc-William Palen (University of Exeter), Title TBC
30 November: Tom Hulme (Queen's University Belfast), 'Voyaging through History: the Meaning of the Mayflower in Britain, 1620-2020'.
DANGEROUS ORAL HISTORIES: RISKS, RESPONSIBILITIES AND REWARDS
On 28-29 June 2018, QUB hosted the joint conference of the Oral History Society and the Oral History Network of Ireland. You can read more about the event at the British Library's sound and vision blog.
ORAL HISTORY IN THE ARTS AND HUMANITIES
In June 2018, the Centre for Public History co-hosted a two-day workshop on recording, analysing and disseminating oral history. The workshop aimed to provide foundational knowledge for those recording interviews, to promote current oral history projects, to learn from those who archive and disseminate material, and to consider the ways we can promote our research.
PEOPLE'S HISTORIES? PHOTOGRAPHY, PUBLIC HISTORY AND MUSEUMS
On Friday 25 May 2018, the Centre for Public History held a half-day colloquium, exploring how photographic sources best help us to share public history, and how can we use photography to involve a wider public in historical stories. It included speakers such as Vivienne Pollock of the Troubles Gallery at the Ulster Museum, Pauline Hadaway of University of Manchester, Briony Widdis of the University of Ulster, Dominique Bouchard of the National Army Museum, and Kieran Connell, Olwen Purdue and Lucy Wray of Queen's University Belfast.
WHAT IS PUBLIC HISTORY? THE FIRST ANNUAL CONFERENCE OF THE CENTRE FOR PUBLIC HISTORY
The Centre for Public History’s inaugural conference took place at Queen’s University Belfast from 7-8 December 2017.
CLANDEBOYE READING PARTY: ‘HISTORY, HERITAGE AND PLACE’
12–14 September 2017
In September 2017, students and staff from Trinity College Dublin and Queen’s University Belfast spent three days at the Clandeboye estate engaging in discussion and activities on the themes of war, commemoration, identity, memory, place and history.
Upon our arrival, Lady Dufferin took us on an interactive tour of the estate, where we were challenged to think of new ways to engage schoolchildren with its history and landscape. In the evening’s panel discussion, Guy Hayward (British Pilgrimage Trust) advocated modern forms of ‘pilgrimage’, Ciaran O’Neill (TCD) questioned the nature of public history (Ciaran's paper is available here) and John Horne (TCD) laid out the challenges of war commemoration.
On the second day, Guy led us on a 10 mile ‘pilgrimage’, where we explored the Clandeboye estate’s First World War connections and visited historical sites such as Helen’s Tower and Bangor Abbey.
On the final day, we collaborated with the Aspects Festival to provide a World War I and II Roadshow at Clandeboye Courtyard, aimed at schoolchildren and members of the public. We collected oral history interviews, showed WWI newsreel footage and heard a range of talks from academics, students and poets. Lady Dufferin closed the event with a fascinating talk on the history of the estate and her vision for its future.
We wish to thank all involved for making it such an enjoyable and stimulating event. Special thanks to Jane Ohlmeyer and Patrick Macfarlane for their exceptional organisation skills, and to Lady Dufferin and the Clandeboye staff for their kind hospitality.
PUBLIC HISTORY SEMINAR: DR TANJA VAHTIKARI, UNIVERSITY OF TAMPERE, FINLAND
29 September 2017
From national to world heritage via the regional: harmonizing heritage in the Nordic countries
This presentation examines the evolving patterns of “regional harmonization” of World Heritage nominations among the five Nordic countries of Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland since the 1980s. Regional harmonization has been understood by UNESCO as one way forward in an endeavor to ensure the universal representativeness and the geographical balance of the World Heritage List. The main question addressed is how the transnational Nordic dimension of identity has been negotiated in the process of transforming local and national heritages into World Heritage. The paper concludes that while the implementation of the World Heritage Convention has provided means to imagine a tentative Nordic World Heritage community, it has not been conceived of in a manner that would present any significant challenge to national framings of heritage. In the process, an idea of a harmonious Nordic Heritage has been promoted. The Nordic example has wider relevance as it sheds light on the question of heritage ownership and the mechanisms of regionalization within the World Heritage system.
Tanja Vahtikari is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Tampere, Faculty of Social Sciences. She is also a member of the Centre of Excellence “History of Society: Re-thinking Finland 1400-2000”, funded by the Academy of Finland. She is the author of Valuing World Heritage Cities (Routledge, 2017). Tanja Vahtikari’s research interests include World Heritage, urban memory, historical pageants, city jubilees and postwar history.
PUBLIC HISTORY SEMINAR: DR MARTHA VANDREI, UNIVERSITY OF EXETER
Ideas of history: historical culture in Britain since 1600
The paper’s focus will be on ‘historical culture’ as a distinctive approach to the role of the past in successive presents. This approach emphasises the combination of creative and ‘research-based’ – fictive and factual – elements characteristic of historical production throughout the early modern and modern period, and the contemporary world. This paper will discuss the distinctions we can make between the history of history, memory, and public history, as well as literature around heroic reputations and the ‘invention of tradition’. It will argue that historical ideas are the product of complex processes in which individuals consciously deploy a variety of generic characteristics, and audiences react on the basis of their expectations for a given ‘genre’ of history. It will suggest that scholars can and should move beyond understanding the past as epiphenomenal to any single present, and place a renewed focus on the importance placed by generations of authors and audiences on a shifting notion of ‘historical truth.
PUBLIC HISTORY SEMINAR: PROFESSOR GRAHAM SMITH, UNIVERSITY OF NEWCASTLE
Where is the love? Or what happened to the marriage between oral history and public history?