Tag Archives: Robert Lee Hodge

Public History Done Fun

“In its simplest meaning, Public History refers to the employment of historians and the historical method outside of academia: in government, private corporations, the media, historical societies and museums, even in private practice.”
Public History: Its Origins, Nature, and Prospects, Robert Kelly

 

About once every quarter or so, I have an existential crisis of some severity in which I wonder if I made the right decision by not pursuing academia. The answer is usually yes; watching the education bubble inflate, with the number of history students exceeding history job openings, as well as the “publish or perish” mantra all reassure me that that’s something I’m ok without.

To assuage the academia FOMO*, I pursue history in other ways that, I think, prove history can be just as enjoyable outside of the ivory tower, if not more so. Whether that’s historical reenacting (lite, not hardcore), reading books, or staying up to date with historical scuttlebutt online, I keep my brain engaged, if not very organized.
*Fear Of Missing Out

I don’t claim to be a public historian, even by amateur standards, but in my travels across the internet, I have come across public history done many different ways by those of whom the ivory tower would probably disapprove. What follows are some of my favorites:

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“The Allison Brothers of PA” by Jared Frederick of History Matters

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Books! : Confederates in the Attic

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The book. And the socks from my previous post.

I think it was a friend/coworker in college who recommended that I read this book because he knew my degree was in America history. When I finally did read it several years later, I saw why he thought I would like it.

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