The Public History Collective (PHC), an interdisciplinary group based in the History Program at the Graduate Center, CUNY, will hold its second annual conference on Friday, November 17, 2017.

The PHC invites proposals of 500 words or less that engage with this year’s theme: “It’s Not What You Think: Challenging Assumptions Through Public History.”

This year’s conference will consider the ways in which the assumptions that our audiences bring with them affect the stories we choose to tell. Visitors to museums, cultural institutions, archives, and other public history sites often come with preconceived assumptions about our past shaped by distant experiences of high school courses, patriotic political rhetoric, or popular myth. The conference will ask how public historians can challenge these myths and articulate new narratives while living up to the expectations of the public in a diverse and increasingly polarized country. It will also explore how the form and function of public history sites can be used to expand conceptions of what spaces should look like and who they should engage with.

The conference hopes to address how public history can be a tool for challenging previous knowledge, complicating beliefs, reversing expectations, broadening perspectives, righting wrongs, and presenting a more honest history.

Submissions may include: Individual papers/presentations, complete panels, workshops, or other nontraditional formats.

Who is Eligible: Proposals from graduate students, public history professionals, and independent scholars are welcome.

 Submission deadline: Friday, September 15th, 2017

Send proposal submissions to  

Please direct questions to conference chair Madeline DeDe-Panken at

Click here for more information about The Public History Collective (PHC).

Co-sponsored by The CUNY Public History Collective working group