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Saturday, May 2101:40 - 03:25 PM

Session 7

History, Preservation, and Public Reckoning in Museums

Panelists will explore the ongoing tension between historical scholarship and public culture, not only on the plantation, but also in the broader context of public history and memory.  The session will reflect on the challenges of interpreting emancipation at house museums and the reactions of the public, including the descendants of the slave owners as well as the enslaved.


Lonnie G. Bunch III photo

Lonnie G. Bunch III

National Museum of African American History and Culture


David W. Blight photo

David W. Blight

Yale University

Dolores Hayden photo

Dolores Hayden

Yale University

Dorothy Spruill Redford photo

Dorothy Spruill Redford

Somerset Place State Historic Site


Gretchen Sullivan Sorin photo

Gretchen Sullivan Sorin

Cooperstown Graduate Program

Session Time Slot(s)

05/21/2016 - 13:40-05/21/2016 - 15:25

Session Blog

African American History as Public History

“What is this thing we call Public History?” asked David Blight (albeit rhetorically) in the closing presentation to the panel entitled, “History, Preservation, and Public Reckoning in Museums.”  One simple way of answering that question is to demarcate the terrain and to say that Public History is the practice of producing historical narratives in places outside of the classroom and texts of academia, such as museums and monuments, historic sites and the built environment, the digital...

Are Historic Houses Circling the Drain?

Everybody is from someplace and that place evokes memories, perhaps good, perhaps bad, but often visceral. Places trigger thoughts of childhood and places mark the events in our lives—the place the family vacationed each summer, the place we were married—the place we went to school or played as children.

Read Conference Papers for this Session