CfP: IFPH2017 (5-9 June, 2017, University of Bologna)

5 Jun 2017 - 00:00

History is a public issue. Historical knowledge and practice is not limited to academic settings. History is also produced and shared in a wide range of settings by professional and non-professional historians alike. Museums and other exhibiting places, films and documentaries, historical novels, anniversaries and commemorations, re-enactments and living history, public policies, transitional justice commissions, television, radio, websites, and social media, are some of the venues in which history comes alive. All these settings stimulate interaction and collaboration with large audiences, turning historians into public historians.

From 5th to 9th June 2017, the fourth international annual conference of the International Federation for Public History (IFPH) will be held at the University of Bologna, Cultural Heritage Department (Dipartimento dei Beni Culturali) located on the Campus of the city of Ravenna. The conference is organized in co-partnership with the first national branch of the IFPH, the Italian Association for Public History (Associazione italiana di Public History) (AIPH), created in Rome in June 2016. The AIPH will hold its first national conference (see its own CFP) with sessions in Italian during the 4th IFPH conference.

Born in 2011, the IFPH aims at building an international and multi-lingual community of practitioners. IFPH role is to foster the development of Public History worldwide creating and coordinating networks and national associations for public history, promoting teaching, research and all kind of activities engaging the public with the past, history and individual and collective memories.

The IFPH international conference in Ravenna will bring together practitioners, experts and activists from all over the world to discuss and share their experiences in the many challenges and rewards involved in engaging with the public to diffuse historical knowledge. The conference will not be limited to a specific theme but, on the contrary, will engage with the very different public history activities. So, proposals may present examples of historians’ engagement with communities through different media, building different forms of narratives and looking at different public uses of the past.

The conference’s goal is to open up a space to give visibility and to share the innovative practices and skills that public historians around the world creatively use in their daily practice. History is increasingly produced through collaborative projects that are used for different political, economic, and cultural purposes, often defining collective identities along the way. Furthermore, public history explores, challenges, and discusses the historians’ role and has recently attracted global attention. In this sense, the Conference also provides room to discuss the scope, aims, and challenges, among other critical issues raised by public history and history as a general field.

Possible practices and topics may include

  • Museums and Exhibiting the Past
  • Oral History and Community Projects
  • Digital Public History
  • Participatory Knowledge: Social Media, Mobile App and User-Generated Contents
  • Moving Images and documentaries
  • Public History and the use of Photography
  • Historical Fiction
  • Re-enactments and Living History
  • Historic Preservation and Community Cultural Heritage
  • Identity and Memory issues
  • Public Commemorations
  • Public Archaeology
  • Public Policies and Applied History
  • Teaching Public History
  • Current debates related to public history as a practice
  • How to create national associations of public history?
  • Who are the Public Historians in Europe?
  • How to foster Public History as a discipline in Europe?
  • Is there a European Public History?

Both individual papers and session proposals (90 minutes each) are welcome. Session proposals should include a general abstract for the session, the name of the session’s coordinator as well as abstracts for all individual papers.

Please send your proposal of no more than 150 words, as well as any questions or inquiries, to the following email:

Deadline for all proposals is 30th November 2016.

Program Committee

  • Paula Hamilton (AUS) for the Australian Centre for Public History, Sidney
  • Chantal Kesteloot (BE) Secretary of the IFPH Steering Committee, Cegesoma, Brussels
  • Enrico Natale (CH) for, professional portal of the historical sciences in Switzerland
  • Catalina Munoz (COL) for the History Department, Universidad de Los Andes, Bogotà, IFPH Patron
  • Andreas Etges (DE) Delegate in the IFPH Steering Committee, Amerika-Institut, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich
  • Marko Demantowski (DE) for the Journal Public History Weekly
  • Catherine Brice (FR) for the Master en Histoire Publique, Paris-Est Créteil
  • Jerome De Groote (GB) School of Arts, Languages and Cultures, University of Manchester, Keynote for #IFPH2014 in Amsterdam
  • Serge Noiret (IT) President of the IFPH Steering Committee, European University Institute, Florence
  • Luigi Tomassini (IT) Head of Department of Cultural Heritage and Vice Dean of the School “Lettere e Beni culturali”, Univ.Bologna, Campus Ravenna.
  • Marcello Flores D’Arcais (IT) Scientific Director of INSMLI, the network of Istituti per la storia della Resistenza e della società contemporanea in Italia
  • Andreas Fickers (LU) Head of the Institute for History and Director of the Digital History LAB, University of Luxembourg
  • Phil Scarpino (USA) for the Public History Program, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), IFPH Patron
  • Mark Tebeau (USA) Associate Professor of Public History, Arizona State University, IFPH Patron
  • Marla Miller (USA) for University of Massachusetts Amherst Public History Program, IFPH Patron

More information at