Tufts Instructor Ken Turino passed along this article he published last month on Public History Commons.
Public History Commons Editor’s Note: In “What I’ve Learned Along the Way: A Public Historian’s Intellectual Odyssey,” outgoing NCPH President Bob Weyeneth issued a call to action to public historians to include the public more fully in our work by “pulling back the curtain” on our interpretive process-how we choose the stories we tell. In this series of posts, we’ve invited several public historians to reflect on projects that do exactly that, assessing their successes and examining the challenges we face when we let the public in through the door usually reserved for staff.
As a public historian working in a museum, Robert R. Weyeneth’s call to “lift the veil” and bring the public into the interpretive process is welcome–and necessary if we want to broaden the kinds of stories we tell. As Jennifer Pustz writes in Voices from the Back Stairs, “the influx of academically trained historians on museum staffs and the subsequent influence of social history on exhibitions and interpretation have resulted in a broader definition of authenticity that can encompass the whole truth, warts and all, and the history of all Americans.” 
Why, then, are many museums and historic sites so reticent to explore diverse stories? Do they fear the public’s reaction? If so, why aren’t we involving the visitor more in the process of historical interpretation?
- Read the full article at http://publichistorycommons.org/behind-the-velvet-rope/#sthash.OmXhPsHs.dpuf
Erin Wederbrook Yuskaitis passed this along. Thanks, Erin! The NEW DATE of this event is October 1.
Do you live in Boston but have never visited the Old North Church on the Freedom Trail? Do you want to learn more about this nationally significant historic building in Boston’s favorite neighborhood? Perhaps you actually live in the North End but have never stepped inside! You are not alone. Lots of busy young professionals have not had time to explore every interesting historic site or museum in the city. So we invite you to come see what our exciting campus has to offer the local community. Over 500,000 tourists visit us every year, but we’d like to meet YOU!
Join the Old North Foundation staff and other local young professionals for a mix-and-mingle reception in our fabulous Washington Courtyard (weather permitting), explore the church and hear a brief overview about the architecture and Paul Revere’s famous midnight ride, and learn more about plans for our upcoming 300th anniversary. What better way to spend a lovely early fall evening?
Bring a friend or colleague – all are welcome!
Wine, beer, and appetizers provided. Afterward, dine at one of the many fantastic restaurants in the North End!
Are there ID requirements or an age limit to enter the event?
Young Professionals are those 21-39 years of age. Sorry, you must be 21 to attend.
What are my transport/parking options getting to the event?
As always the best way to get here is on foot/public transportation. The closest T stops are the green and orange lines at Haymarket or the blue line at Aquarium.
Where can I contact the organizer with any questions?
Call Renie Pavilon at 617-523-6676 x105
Is my registration/ticket transferrable?
Sorry, tickets are not transferrable.
Have questions about Young Professionals Meet & Greet at the Old North Church? Contact Old North Foundation.
Do you have a few minutes to spare to help with the data behind a NEMA 2014 conference panel?
Tufts Alum Amanda Gustin is chairing a panel titled “The Graduate School Conundrum.” The panel will open with analysis of trends in museum graduate education, and in order to do that analysis we need your help!
Whether or not you have a degree, whether or not you currently have a museum job, we are hoping you’ll fill out the survey and tell us a little bit about your background and your thoughts.
Survey link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1JPVHLvpoh_oJX5vh6xEHgtia7W4qVk0_ViyY70grjKU/viewform
The data will be followed by a conversational debate between Tufts program director Cynthia Robinson and museum consultant Linda Norris (of The Uncataloged Museum blog).
Here’s the official session description:
As the museum field has continued to professionalize, museum studies, public history, and other similar graduate programs seem to multiply at an exponential rate. What’s going on? We’ll present information from a 2014 survey of museum graduates & museum programs, and then continue with a conversational debate between panelists about the state, practicality, diversity, value, and future of museum studies. We will also invite questions and feedback from the audience.
Look for the results and panel discussion at the 2014 NEMA Annual Conference in Cambridge this fall! (More info on the conference at http://www.nemanet.org/conference-events/conference/2014-conference/main/.