Bridging across the Academic/Public History Chasm

We've made much progress bringing the two major wings of our profession closer together with public and academically based historians doing more together, but we need to understand and respond to our respective differences in terminology, reward systems and mutual respect.

Lecture Description

The American public learns much of its history at museums, historic sites, and parks; polls show that the public trusts such public history. In contrast, the pubic does not hold academia in as high esteem and history majors are decreasing. Heather Huyck has spent her career working to bridge these two components of our discipline. We can become a stronger History when we intentionally develop the rationales and methods to recognize and encourage our complementarity. The OAH has had an agreement with the NPS for over 25 years can do more to bridge such as systematically incorporating study of our tangible heritage of landscapes, buildings and objects into history classes, teaching classes of both students and practitioners, and reaching out to parks and other historic locales. Parks need to appreciate more the riches of academia, to use their insights and engage with their scholars routinely. Organizations need to insist that both public and academic historians are fully represented on committees and at conferences. Dr. Huyck has taught in public and academic settings and long sought ways to facilitate bridge-building; she helped negotiate the 1994 OAH-NPS agreement.


Public History and Memory Women

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