Whose Past? History, Public Engagement and the Future of the historical disciplines

An ESRC North West Doctoral Training Centre Event

Wednesday, 22nd February 2012, 1.00-4.30pm,

University of Manchester, Roscoe 1.010,

Lunch will be included.


Places can be booked via the Manchester eprog system. Students and

researchers at Liverpool, Lancaster and other institutions should book a place by

emailing: artsmethods@manchester.ac.uk


Public interest and engagement with history has grown over the past decade. In

part this has been driven by new media that provide a much more direct link

between the interested public and historical sources (for instance through the

availability of census and family records on-line, or the efforts by museums and

libraries to digitize their collections). The production of history-based content by

traditional media, in particular radio and TV, has both accompanied and

stimulated this interest.


But how can historians forge links between their own research and this wider

audience? How can the historian’s expertise – a critical engagement with the

past – contribute positively to this growing public engagement? Such questions

are crucial, particularly at a time when the historical disciplines are being asked

to demonstrate the ability to speak to a broad audience. The challenge is to do

so in ways that enrich both way in which the public engages with the past, and

the very ways in which history is researched.


This workshop will invite historians with a proven track record of public

engagement and experts in the production of historically-based content for

public audiences to discuss with students and researchers how the profession

can meet these challenges.


This event will be of particular interest to doctoral students in the historical

disciplines who are interested in thinking how best to generate an impact from

their research, or those interested in pursuing careers not in academia, but in

history-related public facing professions beyond their graduate studies.


The ESRC North West DTC is the UK’s largest postgraduate social science

training centre, providing PhD students in the Universities of Manchester,

Lancaster and Liverpool with access to quality research training. The DTC funds

63 new postgraduate studentships per year to support research and training at

doctoral level, amounting to more than £15 million of investment over the five



For more information see: http://www.nwdtc.ac.uk