Trouillot and Public History: A Defense

In this reading of Trouillot (my 6th I think–that’s less bragging than me admitting how this text rewards and demands repeated readings,) I thought a lot about what Trouillot would think about public history. He certainly talks about history and the public, and at some points even talks about professional public historical practice. But I think he’s most concerned with an expansive definition of what public history is and how we might use it to conceptualize our experience in the world.

In general, I think Trouillot is a necessary manual for the public historian who is interested not only in the big picture of thinking about how history is made, conceived, and interpreted, but also as an example of the way in which history enters into quotidian life on a daily basis. I’m still thinking about how that works practically.

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