Thursday, 22 August 2013

Why Public History? Building a Round Table for the CISH Jinan World History Congress, August 2015

As permanent internal commission of the CISH-ICHS, the IFPH-FIHP is fostering the broadest possible international participation to the Call for Paper launched by the Comité International des Sciences Historiques – International Committee of Historical Sciences and especially for the round table on “Why Public History?”, organized by Arnita Jones (American Historical Association, USA, Secretary of the IFPH Steering Committee) together with Alix Green (University of Hertfordshire, UK, Member of the IFPH-FIHP) during the next 22nd world history congress that will take place in Jinan, China in August 2015.

The deadline for the call for discussants is November 30, 2013.

The full CFP is available as a PDF document on the CISH-ICHS website but is also fully reproduced here below.

XXIInd Comité International des Sciences Historiques 

(CISH-ICHS) Congress

Jinan, China 23 to 29 August 2015

Round Table n.9: Why Public History?

One of the major difficulties in exploring and explaining public history—and the role of public historians—is the on-going issue of definition. Definitions are shaped by context, and can display significant differences and tensions, both within national disciplinary communities and between them.
Writing in 1991, former World History Association president, Alfred J. Andrea, offered a breadth of scope in his definition that offers, at least, a point of departure. He sees public history as the application of ‘historical skills and perspectives in the services of a largely non-academic clientele,’ and of ‘the dimension of historical time in helping to meet the practical and intellectual needs of society at large’. His range of examples of public history take in public policy analysis, the understanding of cultural heritage, and helping a corporation ‘plan its future through an understanding of its past’.1
Yet it is easy to become overly pre-occupied with definition. The inevitable difficulties involved – and the reality that any outcome will be contested – can prevent further enquiry. We can ask what public historians do, and present the diversity of activities as a proxy for definition, but there is a need to be more intellectually ambitious. The paper that this roundtable will discuss will propose a different way to proceed. One powerful way to explore what public history is is to ask ‘why is public history as it is?’. This approach allows us to consider those important questions of context, to draw out the influences that have shaped public history fields in different contexts and to make comparisons that point to further development and dialogue.
This roundtable will therefore have a comparative dynamic. Taking a global perspective will undoubtedly reveal many differences in terms of public history’s concerns, priorities and self-conceptions. But we imagine we will identify far more things in common. The search of affinities – as the basis by which international conversations about public history can begin – is one of our central aims.
We do not anticipate or prescribe the topics or questions respondents will want to focus on. Rather, we suggest here a number of purposes to which history can be put in public as a way to start the thinking process.
The purpose of a distinctive form of knowledge will affect how people should be prepared for practice. What are the requirements of a public history education and how might those be captured in qualifications? The term ‘public’ conceals a whole array of constituencies with different, sometimes conflicting, perspectives and interests. What might determine their relative prominence and how might we understand and mediate between groups? The legitimacy of collaboration with certain groups, for example policymakers or marginalized constituencies such as offenders, is an area for consideration. For every purpose, a set of responsibilities is entailed: how can public historians respond to and manage these obligations?
Commentators are not limited to these areas of enquiry; we welcome consideration of any aspect of public history that responds to the paper with the broad aims of the roundtable in mind.

Alix Green [at]
Lecturer in History and Policy University of Hertfordshire
Arnita Jones
arnitajones [at]
Executive Director Emerita, American Historical Association
(1) Andrea, ‘On public history’, Historian 53 (1991) p. 381.
Les propositions ne doivent pas dépasser 2.500 signes et doivent être envoyées avec une courte biographie, simultanément aux organisateurs (Alix Green et Arnita Jones) et au secrétaire général du CISH Robert Frank : au plus tard le 30 novembre 2013
Proposals should be a maximum of 2.500 characters – 350 words and should be sent with a short biographical note to the organizers (Alix Green and Arnita Jones) and to the Secretary General Robert Frank : by the 30th November 2013.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Symposium: "Reading historical sources in the digital age", 5–6 December 2013, Luxembourg, Call for Paper extended to September 4

This year the DHLU Symposium is the 3rd DIgital HUmanities Luxembourg conferenceThe PDF version of the CFP is available online and is published integrally below.

The Symposium will take place on the 5 and 6 December 2013 in Luxembourg. I already mentioned the past two editions of DHLU in Digital & Public History, and the publication by Peter Lang, this summer 2013, of an edited book with papers presented during the first DHLU Symposium in 2009.

This new Call For Papers integrates three different approaches to the use of primary sources, secondary sources and to the process of writing history in the digital age: 

  • Distant/close reading (Data retrieval, analysis and visualization); 
  • Community reading 
  • Writing history &amp and Assessing scholarship. 
The CFP was open until the 20th of August but has now been extended until the 4th of September. 

DHLU 2013 - is organized by the CVCE, together with the Jean Monnet Chair in History of European Integration (University of Luxembourg, FLSHASE) and its research programme ‘Digital Humanities Luxembourg’ — DIHULUX (research unit Identités-Politiques-Sociétés-Espaces (IPSE)) — and the University of Luxembourg’s Master’s in Contemporary European History

"The Symposium will be structured around the following research clusters, but may also include other related approaches. 

After the inaugural DHLU Symposium in 2009 that focused on ‘Contemporary history in the digital age’ and a second edition which tackled the methodological and theoretical implications of considering websites as primarysources (March 2012), this third edition will focus on the use of online thematic research corpora.

Given that more and more sources for contemporary history are being made available online as digital research corpora — as on the CVCE’s site — and following on from the first two editions which examined the methods used to develop these sources, this third edition of Digital Humanities Luxembourg will focus on the various ways in which this material is used by humanities researchers, particularly contemporary historians and more specifically specialists in European integration.

Distant/close reading — Data retrieval, analysis and visualization

As increasing quantities of historical data are published on the web, the prospect of making simple use of these data — i.e. reading PDFs on screen or printing them out to read on paper — is becoming increasingly less realistic and methodologically sustainable. What options are open to researchers, and what are the concomitant methodological issues? This cluster will cover various themes, including: (big) data, text mining and semantic analysis, quantitative data approaches, network analysis, data visualisation (including GIS), and more generally the links between distant and close readings.

Community reading

Several online digital thematic collections, and more generally many online services available for research, offer users the possibility of registering, and sometimes of working together with other researchers, either directly or indirectly. This can lead to a collaborative and interactive reading of historical sources. Moreover, given the proliferation of these collections, what challenges and opportunities exist for cooperation and interoperability between communities? What consequences will this have on the way we currently conduct research in the humanities?

Writing history & Assessing scholarship

Once researchers begin to use digital thematic collections, will it change the way they write history? This cluster will include practical papers (e.g. on how to cite digital resources) as well as more theoretical ones. It will also embrace issues relating to the validity and quality of data and research outputs based on digital thematic collections, as well as the evaluation of those collections as a new kind of online scholarly publication.

We welcome papers focusing on digital humanities and social sciences from researchers and scholars at all stages of their careers. Papers examining cases related to European integration studies (EIS) are especially encouraged. Abstracts (max. 500 words), submitted together with a short CV (max. 250 words) and a list of publications, can be written in English or French and should be sent to the following contact email address, which can also be used for any enquiries:

The authors of the selected proposals will be invited to present their contributions in French or English at the DHLU Symposium 2013, to be held in Luxembourg, and their papers will be published in the Symposium proceedings (only English versions of the revised full papers will be accepted for publication). Participation costs will be covered up to a set limit.

Scientific committee

- Claire Clivaz (University of Lausanne)
- René Leboutte (University of Luxembourg)
- Claudine Moulin (Trier University)
- Serge Noiret (European University Institute, Florence)
- Stéfan Sinclair (McGill University)
- Marianne Backes (CVCE)


Lars Wieneke (CVCE)

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Uses and abuses of History: the first Public History international conference in Greece

      Between the 30rd of August and the 1st of September, the IFPH-FIHP (International Federation for Public History) will sponsor a Public History Conference in Greece. 
This Greek Public history symposium could become starting 2014-2015, a regular International Public History Summer School sponsored by the IFPH-FIHP. 
 The conference is entitled Use and Abuse of History: the Public History in Greece and is organized by the University of Macedonia thanks to the Municipality of VolosThis Greek Public history symposium focuses on several aspects and issues that are central to Public History discussions in continental Europe. 
 I met one of the scientific promoter, Giorgos Antoniou, (School of Humanities, International Hellenic University, Thessaloniki, g.antoniou at at the European University Institute in Florence when he was a Ph.D. student in the History Department. In 2006, at the end of his stay at the EUI, Antoniou co-edited with Professor Luisa Passerini a special issue of the Italian contemporary history journal Memoria e Ricerca on the Memory of Civil Wars in contemporary Societies. Antoniou took recently part in our IFPH-FIHP panel Public History: Cohesive or Disruptive ? Remembering Civil Wars and Violent Sub-National Conflicts, at the annual Meeting of the National Council on Public History, (NCPH) in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, April 17-20, 2013, “Knowing your Public(s). The Significance of Audiences in Public History”. 
This panel, as you can see below, focused on some of the themes that will be discussed during the Public History conference in Greece this month. 
Dirk Moses (European University Institute)will deliver the keynote speech on How and Why the Use and Abuse of History is Inescapable, Inevitable and Invaluable for Public Life; Simon Prince (Canterbury University) will deliver a paper on The Failure to Address the Past in Northern Ireland. I will talk about the “History of Public History”: From Local to Global and back again: The History and Internationalization of Public History. Greek participants will analyze several key issues concerning Public Historians confronted with the use and abuse of history in today's Greek divided society. 
 Public History: Cohesive or Disruptive ? Remembering Civil Wars and Violent Sub-National Conflicts

"When Public Historians address, through different media and languages, the history of Civil Wars with their opposed and contested memories, do they actually provide a better public understanding of the past? Telling the history of civil wars and violent turmoil is a slippery terrain for Public Historians, one that entails a serious risk. The irreducibly factious memories of civil wars serve to justify and sustain today’s confrontation of political ideologies. Some national societies were -during their recent nation building processes- so heavily divided that their different communities engaged in destructive civil wars and violent confrontations. The opposed memories that emerge after such wars and confrontations, shape a reality characterized by a complex historical heritage and a complex mixtures of ideological deadlocks and political confrontations. The work of Public Historians becomes in such cases particularly difficult. If a Public Historian engages in the celebrations of Civil Wars in contemporary cultural and political debates or through historical museums  and exhibitions, websites and digital media, s/he has to be aware of the influence that opposed memories play in shaping the way through which past events are presented to the public. This raises a key question, having to do with the minimum requirements of a “commonly accepted history”. Is being aware of the difficulties that dealing with opposed memories entails enough for a historian to write a commonly accepted history of Civil Wars? Or, on the opposite, is a commonly accepted history possible only many generations after the war has taken place, when opposed memories are likely to be forgotten, and the past can no longer be used to as a divisive tool? Civil Wars Public History deals with collective identities at different levels: from local memories to the construction of nations’ common past. This is true also of the cases in which it is disputed whether a “Civil war” actually occurred (e.g.  the resistance to the Vichy government in France or the Northern Ireland conflict)."


This is the English version of the conference program. 


Municipality of Volos, Conference Hall

August 30th – September 1st 2013

Friday August 30th

11:30 OpeningWelcome

Opening Lecture
12:00 - 12:30

Serge Noiret (European University Institute, IFPH), From Local to Global and back again: The History and Internationalisation of Public History

Session Ι: Internet and Public History
Chairman: Andreas Andreou (University of Western Macedonia)

Maria Bontila (PhD in History), Internet adventures of Public History: A case study.

Dimitris Bilalis (University of Thessaly), The nation, the parasite and the virus. Aspects of historical culture in the Greek web
Xenia Eleftheriou (PhD candidate, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki), Public History as a conflictual issue: The Holocaust of Greek Jews in the Internet

Lunch Break

16:30 - 17.00

Simon Prince (Canterbury University), «No Lack of Ghosts»: The Failure to Address the Past in Northern Ireland

17.00 - 18:30
Session IΙ: Historiography and Public History
Chairman: Polymeris Voglis (University of Thessaly)

Stratos Dordanas (University of Macedonia), Goldhagen, the “New Wave” and the “Dialogues about History”: Aspects and terms of Public History in Germany and in Greece
Elli Lemonidou (University of Patras), Public History: The international experience and the Greek paradigm
Tasoula Vervenioti (PhD in History), Groups of oral history. Between public and academic history

Key-note Lecture

Dirk Moses (European University Institute), How and Why the Use and Abuse of History is Inescapable, Inevitable and Invaluable for Public Life

Session ΙΙΙ: Oral Testimonies and Public History
Chairwoman: Afroditi Athanasopoulou (University of Cyprus)

Ifigeneia Vamvakidou (University of Western Macedonia) – Andromachi Solaki (historian) – Athanasios Tsiglopoulos (pre-school teacher), Oral history and memories in the Lofoi of Florina
Vassilis Dalkavoukis (Democritus University of Thrace) – Katerina Tsekou (PhD in History), Building Public History in the space. The case of the monuments of Komotini
Andreas Andreou (University of Western Macedonia) – Kostas Kasvikis (University of Western Macedonia), Thessaloniki - Bitola: Public versions of Macedonian history in two statues of King Philip II

Saturday August 31st

9:00 - 11:00
Session IV: Literature and Public History I
Chairman: Nikos Marantzidis (University of Macedonia)

Giorgos Kokkinos (University of the Aegean) – Panagiotis Kimourtzis (University of the Aegean) – Maria Matousi (PhD candidate, University of the Aegean), History and literature: Caresses, slaps and the Slap-tree by Aris Maragkopoulos
Nikos Kokkomelis (PhD candidate, Université Paris Sorbonne - Paris IV), From witnesses to “heirs”: A new kind of narrative? The current Holocaust literature between history and fiction
Anastasia Mitsopoulou (PhD in History), First World War: The memory in Greek literature
Lena Divani (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens), When literature opens space for the history of the minorities: The Silver-grass is Blossoming by V. Gkourogiannis and the Calumny of Blood by V. Boutos

11:30 - 14:00
Session V: Literature and Public History ΙΙ
Chairwoman: Lena Divani (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens)

Afroditi Athanasopoulou (University of Cyprus), Cyprus between “mother Greece” and “stepmother England”:  Writers’ attestations
Alexandros Bazoukis (Cyprus Pedagogical Institute), The contribution of Greek writers and intellectuals in the dialogue about the history and “fates” of Hellenism in the post-war period
Iakovos Anyfantakis (PhD candidate, Panteion University), From the “politics of violence” to the “political violence”:  Representations of fratricidal violence in the post-war literary production
Elena Davlamanou (teacher, NGO Citizens in Knowledge), Approaching the historical novel for children

Lunch Break

16.30 - 18:30
Session VΙ: Memory and Public History
Chairman: Panagiotis Kimourtzis (University of the Aegean)

Anna-Maria Droumpouki (PhD Candidate, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens), Greeks as the “new Jews”: The update version of Occupation in crisis-struck Greece
Elena Striftompola (historian), Lessons of Public History by the Greek Parliament: The case of the law 1285/1982, “On the recognition of the National Resistance of the Greek population against the occupation troops, 1941-1944”
Giorgos Antoniou (International Hellenic University) – Eleni Paschaloudi (PhD in Balkan, Slavic and Oriental Studies), Damnatio memoriae: The 1940s during the 1980s
Gavrilis Lampatos (PhD Candidate, University of the Aegean), Early forms of public history in the 1960s

16.30 - 18.30
Session VIΙ: Press and Public History
Chairman: Spyros Kakouriotis (journalist)

Ilias G. Skoulidas (Technological Institute of Epirus), Continuities and discontinuities of the narratives about a “neighbor”: The Greek press and the Albanians in the post-Cold War period

Georgia Sarikoudi (PhD candidate, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki), The personal narrations of Greek fugitives in Czechoslovakia in the pages of Agonistis

Konstantinos Katsanos (PhD in History), The public negotiation of the Macedonian issue in the years between the end of the Civil War and the Military Junta

19:00 - 21:30
Session VIIΙ: Cinema, Theatre and Public History
Chairman: Nikos Demertzis (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens)

Giorgos Andritsos (PhD in History), Persecutions of Greek Jews in the Greek fiction films from 1945 to 1981
Thanassis Vasileiou (PhD in Studies on Cinematography), Days of ’36 [1972] by Theo Angelopoulos: History as a cinematographic form
Stavroula Mavrogeni (University of Western Macedonia), Filmic production about the Greek Civil War in Yugoslavia/FYROM
Giorgos Mouratidis (anthropologist), The Right, the Left and Mr. Pantelis: The events of December 1944 on the scene of popular theatre
Christos Dermentzopoulos (University of Ioannina), Popular culture, public dialogue and national identity, on the occasion of the projection of the film Parthenon by Costa Gavras in the New Acropolis Museum

19:00 - 21:00

Session IΧ: Education and Public History Ι
Chairman: Dimitris Bilalis (University of Thessaly)

Despina Karakatsani (University of Peloponnese), Pavlina Nikolopoulou (PhD Candidate, University of Peloponnese), Photo images, memory and history. Depictions and readings in the history of education

Vassiliki Sakka (PhD in Education of Adults), “Approaching the past critically”: in search for visual, media and historical literacy. Production of a historical documentary from students. Public History and school

Kostas Kasvikis (University of Western Macedonia), The “other” past: Public uses of archaeology in official and unofficial education
Georgia Kipouropoulou (PhD Candidate, University of Western Macedonia), A comparative examination of two history textbooks

Sunday September 1st

Session Χ: Education and Public History ΙΙ
Chairman: Giorgos Antoniou (International Hellenic University)

Haris Athanasiadis (University of Ioannina), “National-populists” against “national-nihilists”: The public debate about the history textbook for the sixth class of elementary school In modern and recent times (2006-07)
Vaggelis Tsianakas (PhD in Pedagogics), Turkish Rule and Hellenism in Greek and Turkish history textbooks: The two sides of the same coin
Zeta Papandreou (PhD in History Didactics), The massacre of Distomo: Η σφαγή του Διστόμου: Research approach of a traumatic and disputed historical event

11:30- 13:00
Roundtable Discussion
Giorgos Kokkinos, Nikos Marantzidis, Andreas Andreou, Nikos Demertzis, Lena Divani, Dimitris Bilalis, Elli Lemonidou.

Scientific and organizing committee

Andreas Andreou (University of Western Macedonia), Giorgos Antoniou (International Hellenic University), Nikos Demertzis (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens), Spyros Kakouriotis (journalist), Giorgos Kokkinos (University of the Aegean), Elli Lemonidou (University of Patras), Nikos Marantzidis (University of Macedonia), Zeta Papandreou (PhD in History Didactics), Eleni Paschaloudi (PhD in Balkan, Slavic and Oriental Studies)


Printing is sponsored by Epikentro Publishers.