Skip to main content

The Center for Public History (CPH) at the Srishti Manipal Institute of Art, Design and Technology (SMI), Bengaluru (India) invites you to attend its ninth CPH@10 Public Talk on Friday, October 22, at 06:30 pm Indian Standard Time (IST) online. To attend the talk, please register here.

The CPH@10 Public Talks is a monthly online lecture series that has been instituted to celebrate ten years of CPH's existence. Established in 2011, CPH works on public history, community history, and institutional history by creating archives and engaging with oral history practice and pedagogy in an Indian context. The series is accordingly dedicated to a range of topics around public history.

CPH@10 Public Talk IX

Citizen Historians and Shared Authority in Public History

Thomas Cauvin

University of Luxembourg

Date: Friday, October 22, 2021

Time: 06:30 pm IST



Abstract: Public engagement and participation are at the core of public history. However, public participation has often been limited to basic public contributions such as crowdsourced transcription, recorded testimonies, or collecting objects and materials. In this talk, Thomas Cauvin will present his new project Public History as the new Citizen Science of the Past (PHACS: Luxembourg) that proposes, applies, and experiments share public collaborative frameworks in which citizen historians can contribute to complex interpretations of the past. Inspired by citizen science, the project designs hybrid – connecting digital and physical spaces – public history practices in collaboration with cultural institutions, civic associations, and research centres. While the participation of citizen historians offers many opportunities, it also raises questions about shared authority, co-production, and decision-making. Cauvin will discuss approaches to deal with the multiple – sometimes competing – public interpretations of the past.

Speaker: Thomas Cauvin is Associate Professor of Public History at the University of Luxembourg's Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History – C2DH. He is an FNR-ATTRACT Fellow and leads the Public History as the New Citizen Science of the Past (PHACS) project. Cauvin has been the President of the International Federation for Public History since 2018. He received his PhD at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy (2012) and worked for several years in the United States at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (2013-2017) and Colorado State University (2017-2020). He is the author of Public History. A Textbook of Practice (Routledge, May 2016) and several articles and book chapters on public history.