A partnership between the Institute of Historical Research and the Centre for Public History, Queen’s University Belfast, this online conference explores the uses of anniversaries in historical research and public interpretation, thinking critically about the politics of commemoration, the wide variety of tools and approaches for public engagement, and the challenges of dealing with contested pasts. 

Speakers from academia and beyond will examine a wide range of case studies, from Magna Carta to WW1, with special sessions on ‘Nuclear Memory’ (from Hiroshima to Fukushima), ‘Remembering Partitions’ in Ireland, India and beyond, and a workshop on ‘Remembering Trauma’, using oral histories of Irish Mother and Baby homes as a case study. Other conference content includes a tour of the Ulster Museum Troubles Gallery, a 3D walk-through of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, and films exploring memory in Belfast produced by local early-career researchers. 

Early-career Lighting Talks and Prizes
The conference will conclude with 5-minute Lightning Talks on ‘Memory and Commemoration’ – broadly defined – from early-career researchers in history and related disciplines. Prizes will be awarded for the best presentations: £200 for the winner, plus three runner-up prizes of £100 each. 

MA Public History-QUB. Find out more information about the MA here.

Weeping Window: © National Museums NI

Applied Public History: Places, People, Stories

Applied Public History: Places, People, Stories

The IHR/UoL free online course or ‘MOOC’ (delivered on the Coursera platform) introduces learners to applied public history: understanding and interpreting the past today, and engaging diverse communities in the practice of making and sharing histories.

What kinds of stories can we discover through research into the history of places and people? How do we engage diverse communities with those stories today? What kinds of imaginative approaches can we use to interpret the past? And what tools and opportunities can we create to include new groups and individuals in local research initiatives? This course investigates these questions and helps learners develop transferable approaches to their own community history and heritage interpretation. Learners develop a toolkit to apply in their own practice, by participating in discussion, quizzes, creative activities and mini masterclasses.

The course draws on project case studies, expert insights and diverse perspectives from many of the CHPPC’s friends and collaborators, as well as Centre projects including Layers of London and the Victoria County History of England.

Centre for Public History Research videos

Public uses of the past in Northern Ireland's contested landscape

Professor Dominic Bryan
Professor, School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics, Queen's University Belfast

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Queer Northern Ireland: sexuality before liberation

Dr Tom Hulme
Senior Lecturer, School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics

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Museums, empire and Northern Irish identity

Dr Briony Widdis 
Research Fellow, School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics

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Building Titanic: putting Belfast back in the picture

Professor Olwen Purdue 
Director, Centre for Public History, QUB

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Mayflower400 Evaluation

Watch a short video on the Mayflower 400, Southampton Project

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Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

Future Memory

Tour of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

To open the door of understanding by taking a contemporary image of the curated memory on display at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. 3d digital environments offer unique empathy and intuition when travel opportunities are impossible.

Conference Programme

Troubling Anniversaries Conference Programme PDF 1.5 MB