The past three decades have witnessed a sea change in historical interpretation at public sites like historic parks, sites, museums, and monuments. This conference will explore interpretive narratives about Native American and African American histories, and they ways in which they have challenged the traditional narrative at America's historic sites, parks, and museums.
Interpretation was once the work of governments and propertied interests, attesting to civic virtue and the authority of dominant racial and class powers. But publications like James and Lois Horton’s Slavery and Public History, programs like Colonial Williamsburg’s Revolutionary City, and the opening of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and plans for a Smithsonian African American Museum herald the new voices being heard in historic interpretation today—voices empowered by grassroots public history projects and movements that have contributed to a new pluralism of interpretative narratives.
Possible conference topics include controversies surrounding the integration of narratives, dilemmas of accurately interpreting Native American and African American histories for the public, challenges in preserving Native American and African American heritage, interrogating new interpretive narratives and their meanings in the context of the culture wars and “post-racial” American society, engaging policies and strategies to promote new interpretive narratives, and situating such interpretive narratives in historical, cultural, political, economic, and geographical contexts. The conference aims to enrich scholarship on the topic from a variety of methods and disciplines, so presenters from all disciplines are invited to participate. The program will also include a keynote speaker in the field.
The conference, sponsored by the Public History program in the Department of History at North Carolina State University, will take place in Raleigh on Saturday, April 17, 2010. The conference organizer is Craig Thompson Friend, Associate Professor & Director of Public History at NC State University. Funding is available to subsidize participants’ travel and accommodations.
Please send a 250-word abstract, a c.v., and contact information by February 1, 2010, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Accepted applicants will be notified by February 8, 2010. Accepted submissions may be solicited for publication in a peer-reviewed edited collection.
Craig Thompson Friend
Dept. of History
Campus Box 8108
NC State University
Raleigh, NC 27695-8108
fax: 919-515-3886 Email: email@example.com
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