Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Collaboration & Connection

With great pleasure I read everyone’s analysis of the readings for this week. Everyone identified the key concepts: collaboration and connection. As a class everyone seemed in agreement that sharing inquiry and authority were vital to the successful practice of public history. Where there was less agreement was on whether the general public really is ignorant of the nation’s history. Is knowing a personal past the same thing as knowing the history of the United States? In what ways is there overlap? If there is no overlap, is it not important for members of a democratic society to be able to imagine walking in someone else’s shoes? How can public historians help foster a participatory historical culture that would help people connect the personal and the public? I would also ask what happens when you encounter historical topics about which people do not want to discuss their experience? What do we do about topics where people are historically silent? Are they going to get short shrift because they are less easy for people to relate to their individual experience? Lastly, how is Rosenzweig and Thelen’s book a response to the history wars of the 1990s? I would recommend people look at Gary Nash’s History on Trial for an overview of those debates.

Aside from content, please put in paragraph breaks when you have a lengthy entry and watch out for repetitive sentences and typos.

Lastly, can everyone please add a link to the main course blog so that it is easier to go backand forth between our entries.

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