This website is a course companion to Dr. Hilary Iris Lowe‘s HIST 8152 “Managing History: An Introduction to Public History” at Temple University. In this class we explore the practical and theoretical issues concerning the management and development, interpretation, preservation, and presentation of history for public consumption. We focus on public management policies, methods of private ownership, and critical historical issues, including, but not limited to, museum exhibits, historical preservation policies and practices, governance of historical societies and museums, publication practices, historical documentaries (aural and visual), and other elements related to the dissemination of historical interpretations, common historical knowledge, and public memory.
This course asks: Who manages American history and American memory? Who owns history? Who is empowered to tell the story and how did they gain that power? What role does the historian play in the formulation and preservation of public memory?
During fall 2017, this course will consider all of these issues through the lens of a public history project that we design with the City of Philadelphia’s Division of Disease Control, a division of the Department of Public Health on the Philadelphia Influenza epidemic of 1918.
We will, as a group, design a pop-up exhibit that will travel throughout the city. The exhibit will raise awareness of the history of the Spanish influenza epidemic and the more than 16,000 people who died in Philadelphia. The exhibit will explore the responses of the city, local charities, and individuals to this health crisis 100 years ago, and it will raise awareness of public health crisis procedures today.