The Public Value of Public History

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December 20, 2014 - 5:00 pm CFP Deadline

On Saturday, April 11, 2015, the Public History program in the History Department at North Carolina State University will host a symposium to facilitate discussions among public historians, heritage professionals, scholars, and the public about the public value of public history. At multiple levels—community, public and private, state, national, and global—public history benefits economic activity, tourism, employment, historic preservation, and community revitalization. It also contributes to better quality of life, sense of community and commonality, and social capital which have demonstrable effects on property values, homeownership rates, and economic activity. Public history practices related to economic development also intersect with complicated cultural, political, and social dynamics and have the potential to affect communities in positive and problematic ways.

We invite papers, panels, roundtables, and workshops that consider issues related to the value of public history, including but not limited to

  • the public historian as economic actor
  • public history’s role in community revitalization
  • public and private interests in historic preservation
  • the development of heritage corridors or historic districts
  • the role of museums and historic sites in heritage tourism
  • heritage tourism’s economic, social, and political implications
  • public history’s contribution to community identity and economy
  • pedagogy of public history as an economic activity with public value
  • preservation, economic, and environmental sustainability challenges associated with heritage tourism
  • state and local government involvement in public history projects that relate to economic development
  • political, philosophical, and social debates about intersections between public history and market-based development

Interested public historians, cultural resource management professionals, curators, site directors, scholars, etc. should submit one-page proposals for individual papers or full panels, and CVs for all participants to Craig Friend ( by December 20, 2014. Decisions on accepted proposals will be made by  December 31, 2014. Invited participants will receive travel and accommodations.