How is history communicated to a broader public? Who is involved in the production of historical knowledge? Which kinds of narratives are voiced and heard? How do different cultural and political contexts shape the representation of past events? And how does a growing digitalization and use of virtual spaces of communication influence our understandings of history? These are the guiding questions at the heart of a joint online project that aims at learning about and practicing public history.
Connecting students from Israel and Germany, the project started “In/Between Jerusalem and Munich”. A collaborative course taught by Dr. Lina Nikou and Dr. Kim Wünschmann brought together students from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and LMU Munich who learned about “doing history” for the public. In our virtual classroom, we read and discuss key texts from the up-and-coming academic field of public history which covers various forms of re/constructions of “the past” in the public arena. We study similarities and differences in the historicization of past events in the two cities. In international project teams we explore case studies of public history and investigate possible connections and overarching topics.
Through peer-to-peer learning and project-oriented group work of applied history this project increases awareness of the particularities of one’s own as well as other cultures and advances reflexive practices crucial for all intercultural dialogues, and especially for those conducted between Israel and Germany. At the same time, we critically assess potentials and challenges of public history as a means to produce a globally-oriented local and national historical consciousness in the virtual realm.
Projects that take the form of podcasts and videos are published online:
Based on various approaches and using different media, students research topics which intrigue them and address themes they personally care about. The projects reflect cross-cultural dialogues and a myriad of perspectives on the past.