Wednesday, October 11, 2006

on the road

I'm in Ottawa this week, scaring up interest in possible public history internships and NiCHE, a network of environmental historians. I'm history's Willy Loman. (Hey Arthur Miller, what's with the transparent symbolism of calling your downtrodden protagonist Lo-man? That's as cheap as calling your cannibal character Hannibal. Meet my son, Max Murderer.)

The people I've been meeting tend to be historians, either working as such in the public history field or as policy specialists who have drifted away from historical work but are interested in bringing a historical perspective to their field. What's been most noticeable is that everyone I've met wants to be more broadly involved in history: the public historians want to bridge the public/academic divide, for one thing, and the policy specialists still go to history conferences, still save up potential historical topics to work on in retirement. As a director of a public history program, as someone trying to bring his own work to a more public audience and encourage others to do the same, as someone in Ottawa for the express purpose of networking and promoting more networking, I've found that very encouraging.


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