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Public history in a digital context: back to the future or back to basics?

Fien Danniau (UGent)
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Abstract
This article concerns the dreams, practices and future for digital media for public history. Has the digital revolution changed the public history discipline? Thanks to characteristics such as flexibility, interactivity and capacity, digital media offer public historians new ways to present history and interact with the public. Wikipedia and the Children of the Lodz Gettho are two interesting public history cases that experiment with the potential of new media for public history. Looking at history online in general and the role public historians play there, some problems appear: a lack of historical narratives, a lack of self-criticism and digital illiteracy to name three. Based on some online field experience we distill some hands-on lessons concerning narratives, media and the public. Public historians have a lot of work ahead if they want to understand and use the Internet as a new arena for history.
Keywords
public history, digital humanities, e-humanities, digital history

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Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

Chicago
Danniau, Fien. 2013. “Public History in a Digital Context: Back to the Future or Back to Basics?” Ed. Gerben Zaagsma. Bmgn-the Low Countries Historical Review 128 (4): 118–144.
APA
Danniau, F. (2013). Public history in a digital context: back to the future or back to basics? (G. Zaagsma, Ed.)BMGN-THE LOW COUNTRIES HISTORICAL REVIEW, 128(4), 118–144.
Vancouver
1.
Danniau F. Public history in a digital context: back to the future or back to basics? Zaagsma G, editor. BMGN-THE LOW COUNTRIES HISTORICAL REVIEW. 2013;128(4):118–44.
MLA
Danniau, Fien. “Public History in a Digital Context: Back to the Future or Back to Basics?” Ed. Gerben Zaagsma. BMGN-THE LOW COUNTRIES HISTORICAL REVIEW 128.4 (2013): 118–144. Print.
@article{4291936,
  abstract     = {This article concerns the dreams, practices and future for digital media for public history. Has the digital revolution changed the public history discipline? Thanks to characteristics such as flexibility, interactivity and capacity, digital media offer public historians new ways to present history and interact with the public. Wikipedia and the Children of the Lodz Gettho are two interesting public history cases that experiment with the potential of new media for public history. Looking at history online in general and the role public historians play there, some problems appear: a lack of historical narratives, a lack of self-criticism and digital illiteracy to name three. Based on some online field experience we distill some hands-on lessons concerning narratives, media and the public. Public historians have a lot of work ahead if they want to understand and use the Internet as a new arena for history.},
  author       = {Danniau, Fien},
  editor       = {Zaagsma, Gerben},
  issn         = {0165-0505},
  journal      = {BMGN-THE LOW COUNTRIES HISTORICAL REVIEW},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {118--144},
  title        = {Public history in a digital context: back to the future or back to basics?},
  volume       = {128},
  year         = {2013},
}

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