Active History: History for the Future
Glendon College, York University, September 27-28th 2008
Active History: History for the Future is a two-day symposium designed to bring together university-based and community-based historians interested in assessing the ways in which historians engage with communities beyond the academy. Given that historians are also inevitably community members, it is important to consider not only the ways in which our work is taken up by the media, the courts, and so on, but also how we engage with and are responsible to communities in our research. How do, and how can, historical investigations of the past transform both historians and communities in the present and for the future?
The organizers define active history variously as history that listens and is responsive; history that will make a tangible difference in people's lives; history that makes an intervention and is transformative to both practitioners and communities. We seek a practice of history that emphasizes collegiality, builds community among active historians and other members of communities, and recognizes the public responsibilities of the historian.
The purpose of Active History: History for the Future is to make connections and to foster the development of working relationships among people doing active history within and between the many historical subfields. In this spirit, the symposium will provide an opportunity for graduate students and junior scholars interested in pursuing historical projects that will make an imprint beyond the academy to connect with and learn from colleagues who have been engaged in such historical pursuits for a long time.
* The relationship between active history and activism
* The relationship between history and public policy
* The relationship between active history and public history
* Methodological, ethical, and historiographical issues in active history
* Early models and past experiences of active history: history workshop, community history, oral history, experiential history, movement history, progressive public history
* Creating active archives
* Active history and relations of power
* Showcase of current active history projects
* Active history and new technology
* Active history and teaching
* History for the future
Call for presentations, panels and round tables:
We are seeking applications from historians with multiple perspectives on active history. We encourage both historians working inside and outside the academy to contribute to the symposium. This is a call for presentations, not papers, as we welcome different approaches to communicating ideas about active history. Please send a one page proposal for a presentation, panel or round table, along with a brief CV of the presenter or presenters, to Jim Clifford by March 31, 2008: firstname.lastname@example.org or History Department, 2172 Vari Hall, York University, 4700 Keele St., Toronto, ON, M3J 1P3.
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