University of Massachusetts Press

Public History in Historical Perspective

Marla Miller

Published by: University of Massachusetts Press

Go

Browse Books in Series:

Public History in Historical Perspective

previous PREV 1 2

Results 11-13 of 13

:
:
Access Restricted no This search result is for a Book

The Spirit of 1976

Commerce, Community, and the Politics of Commemoration

Tammy Gordon

The most important national commemoration of the twentieth century, the 1976 bicentennial celebration gave rise to a broad-ranging debate over how the American Revolution should be remembered and represented. Federal planners seeking an uncritical glorification of the nation’s founding came up against an array of constituencies with other interests and objectives. Inspired by the “new social history” that looked at the past “from the bottom up,” Americans who had previously been disenfranchised by traditional national narratives—African Americans, women, American Indians, workers, young people—demanded a voice and representation in the planning. Local communities, similarly suspicious of federal direction, sought control over their own bicentennial events. Corporate representatives promoted an approach that championed the convergence of patriotism and private enterprise, while commercial interests applied the marketing techniques of an expanding consumerism to hawk every imaginable kind of patriotic souvenir to all of these groups. The end result of these competing efforts, Tammy S. Gordon shows, was a national celebration that reflected some common themes, including a mistrust of federal power, an embrace of decentralized authority, and a new cultural emphasis on the importance of the self. The American Revolution Bicentennial can thus be seen as both a product of the social and political changes of the 1960s and a harbinger of things to come. After 1976, the postwar myth of a consensus view of American history came to an end, ensuring that future national commemorations would continue to be contested.

Access Restricted no This search result is for a Book

The Stages of Memory

Reflections on Memorial Art, Loss, and the Spaces Between

James E. Young

From around the world, whether for New York City’s 9/11 Memorial, at exhibits devoted to the arts of Holocaust memory, or throughout Norway’s memorial process for the murders at Utøya, James E. Young has been called on to help guide the grief stricken and survivors in how to mark their losses. This poignant, beautifully written collection of essays offers personal and professional considerations of what Young calls the “stages of memory,” acts of commemoration that include spontaneous memorials of flowers and candles as well as permanent structures integrated into sites of tragedy. As he traces an arc of memorial forms that spans continents and decades, Young returns to the questions that preoccupy survivors, architects, artists, and writers: How to articulate a void without filling it in? How to formalize irreparable loss without seeming to repair it? Richly illustrated, the volume is essential reading for those engaged in the processes of public memory and commemoration and for readers concerned about how we remember terrible losses.

Access Restricted no This search result is for a Book

The Wages of History

Emotional Labor on Public History's Front Lines

Amy Tyson

Anyone who has encountered costumed workers at a living history museum may well have wondered what their jobs are like, churning butter or firing muskets while dressed in period clothing. In The Wages of History, Amy Tyson enters the world of the public history interpreters at Minnesota’s Historic Fort Snelling to investigate how they understand their roles and experience their daily work. Drawing on archival research, personal interviews, and participant observation, she reframes the current discourse on history museums by analyzing interpreters as laborers within the larger service and knowledge economies. Although many who are drawn to such work initially see it as a privilege—an opportunity to connect with the public in meaningful ways through the medium of history—the realities of the job almost inevitably alter that view. Not only do interpreters make considerable sacrifices, both emotional and financial, in order to pursue their work, but their sense of special status can lead them to avoid confronting troubling conditions on the job, at times fueling tensions in the workplace. This case study also offers insights—many drawn from the author’s seven years of working as an interpreter at Fort Snelling—into the way gendered roles and behaviors from the past play out among the workers, the importance of creative autonomy to historical interpreters, and the ways those on public history’s front lines both resist and embrace the site’s more difficult and painful histories relating to slavery and American Indian genocide.

previous PREV 1 2

Results 11-13 of 13

:
:

Return to Browse All Series on Project MUSE

Series

Public History in Historical Perspective

Content Type

  • (13)

Access

  • You have access to this content
  • Free sample
  • Open Access
  • Restricted Access