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Making Histories Public - MHIS744

Researchers in Australia, Britain and the US have revealed that ‘ordinary people’ don’t learn history through formal teaching or scholarly monographs but mostly through consuming historical television, radio and film productions, when creating family trees and visiting museums. This unit will examine how and why academic historians make public history and the tensions and opportunities that are produced by the decision to appeal to a wide audience; what might it mean to turn history into a leisure pursuit? We will explore the way histories are represented in television and radio production, family history, museums, historic houses, exhibition curation, social policy and political debate. In so doing, we will investigate the social and political functions of the acquisition of historical knowledge and training. At its core, the unit will question whether this process democratises historical knowledge and thus enfranchises new authors and audiences. After considering some of the theoretical and historiographical issues that characterise this practice, students will develop their own proposal for a public history project related to their filed of historical interest.

Credit Points: 4
When Offered:

S1 Day - Session 1, North Ryde, Day

Staff Contact(s): Dr Tanya Evans

Admission to MRes Prerequisite Information


Unit Designation(s):
Assessed As: Graded
Offered By:

Department of Modern History, Politics and International Relations

Faculty of Arts

Course structures, including unit offerings, are subject to change.
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