6th World Conference of the International Federation for Public History
The 6th World Conference of the International Federation for Public History will be hosted by Freie Universität Berlin, where the first German MA program in public history was established. It is located in the Southwestern part of Germany’s capital. Other partners are the National Council on Public History, the world’s largest public history organization, the German Historical Association (VHD) and its working group on applied/public history (AGAG), the American Historical Association and the Centre for Contemporary History in Potsdam (ZZF).
Since 2011, IFPH has been dedicated to building an international and multi-lingual community of public historians working both outside and inside academia. The main role of the Federation is to foster the development of Public History worldwide, creating and coordinating networks and national associations for public history, promoting teaching, research, theoretical inquiry, and other activities that engage the public with the past, history and individual and collective memories.
Berlin, which has been called the “Rome of contemporary history,” is an ideal location for a major meeting of public historians from across the globe. Like few other places in the world it offers many different layers of history, that not only still matter and are controversial locally or regionally, but nationally and even internationally.
There is no specific conference theme and no focus on a particular historical era. Proposals covering a wide range of public history are welcome, such as:
1. Public History practice and civic engagement
• The value of historical knowledge: historical consciousness and civic dimension of public history
• National agendas, fake news and historical controversies
• Difficult pasts interacting with the present: historians and social justice, human rights, truth commissions, transitional justice, wars and civil wars
• Public policies and applied history
• Public History and contemporary global challenges: migration, inequalities, climate change, development, democracy, human rights, health, food and water security
• Public archaeology
• Museums and exhibiting the past
• Oral history and community projects
• Identity and memory issues
• Material and immaterial public cultural heritage
• Commemorations, monuments and celebrations
• Historic preservation and community cultural heritage
• Memory policies, role of the state
• Digital Public History
• Participatory knowledge: social media, mobile app and user-generated contents
• Mapping and visual representations of the past
• Historical fiction
• Games, videogames
• Visual historical narratives: graphic novels, murals, photography
• History in film: historical films, tv series, documentaries
• Podcasting, radio, and other audio forms of narrating history
• Re-enactments and living history
• History in theater, opera, and performance
6. Professional issues
• Concepts of Public History
• Teaching and learning Public History
• Challenges of practicing Public History in academia and outside
• Public History in museums, archives, libraries, parks
• Resources for research and teaching
• Public History publications
• Selling Public History
• Cultural tourism
• Ethical challenges
While the submission of full sessions, of working group or workshop proposals is preferred, both “partial” panels and individual proposals will be considered. Thematic sessions can include up to 4 presenters. Working groups consist of facilitators and discussants (up to ten people), to explore in depth a subject of shared concern before and during the annual meeting. Workshops provide hands-on and participatory experiences that impart practical information or skills and might require participants to pay a fee. Thematic sessions and working groups will be 90 minutes. Workshops can ask for more time. The conference language will be English.
Those who are looking for co-presenters can suggest a topic proposal here.
Proposals must be submitted in English and include a general abstract for the session, the name and contact information of the session’s coordinator, abstracts for all individual papers, and names and contact information of all presenters
Proposals must be submitted using the respective form on the conference website
The deadline for all proposals is 27 October 2019. The results of the CFP will be announced no later than 31 December 2019. Organizers will try to get funding for travel support for international participants from the German Research Foundation (DFG). The decision by DFG should be known by June 2020 at the latest.
All participants must register for the conference (rates to be announced soon).
• Andreas Etges, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich, Germany (IFPH)
• Paul Nolte, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
• Irmgard Zündorf, Leibniz Centre for Contemporary History, Potsdam, Germany (ZZF)
• Martin Lücke, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
• Frank Drauschke, Facts & Files, Berlin, Germany (AGAG)
• Frank Bösch, Leibniz Centre for Contemporary History, Potsdam, Germany (ZZF)/ Verband der Historiker und Historikerinnen Deutschlands (VHD), Germany
• David Glassberg, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA (NCPH)
• Dana Schaffer, American Historical Association, Washington, DC, USA
• Thomas Cauvin, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, USA
• Catalina Muñoz, Universidad de los Andes, Bogota, Colombia
• Joanna Wojdon, University of Wrocław, Poland
• David Dean, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada
A separate call for poster proposals will be announced in early 2020.
Please send any questions or inquiries to the following email: