Thursday, April 19, 2012

At the National Council for Public History Conference

Sweetest. Nametag Ever.

 I am at the National Council for Public History Conference in Milwaukee. This year the public historians are meeting jointly with the OAH, and trying to show academic historians how to have a good time.It isn't easy, but we are making progress.

I am here to do a poster session with my excellent student Tracy Rebstock and friend Mark Tebeau on the subject of "Building Historical Community with Mobile Historical Smart Phone Apps." You can read our proposal here, but the short version is that we are going to show off our mobile app for Spokane history. (Spokane Historical, by the way, is in soft release--more on that to follow!)

I love this conference. Public history is a much more diverse, interesting and fun world than academic history. I enjoy coming here and meeting archivists, cultural resource officers, museum people, consultants, historic park employees and all the other flavors of public historian. Some of the highlight today included a session about steampunk and public history, listening to some National Park Service employees wrestle with problems of interpretation at "Indian War" sites in the American West, and meeting old friends.

I have to say however that the very best part of the day was the young man who spotted my name tag and told me that he was a graduate student in public history and a big fan of this blog, and how much some of what I have written has helped him on his career path. This was really touching and absolutely made my day. Thanks!

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