Timothy Kneeland, Ph.D.
Golisano Academic Center454
The Center for Public History at Nazareth College fosters the connection between academic and experiential knowledge. The Center supports and conducts research across disciplinary boundaries and communities, and will become a space where faculty expertise meets community experience to make history live in the public eye. The Center uses the methods and ideas of public history to support faculty, students and community partners engaged in projects that illuminate the connection between history and memory and cultures and peoples.
What is Public History?
Public history is “where historians and their various publics collaborate in trying to make the past useful to the public.” That is, public history is the conceptualization and practice of historical activities with one’s public audience foremost in mind. It generally takes place in settings beyond the traditional classroom. Its practitioners often see themselves as mediators on the one hand between the academic practice of history and non-academics and on the other between the various interests in society that seek to create historical understanding. Public history practitioners include museum professionals, government and business historians, historical consultants, archivists, teachers, cultural resource managers, curators, film and media producers, policy advisors, oral historians, professors and students with public history interests, and many others.
-National Council on Public History- "What is Public History"
Highlights in Public History
- Check out Vicki Zimmer's blog for the National Portrait Gallery. History major Vicki interned at the Smithsonian Museum last fall.
- Vicki also was associated with the following video: Munson's Hill - Battlefield Trickery in the Civil War
News and Events
Public History in the Community
Canisius College was the scene of the annual West/Central NYS Regional Phi Alpha Theta conference. This turned out to be one of the largest, most competitive conferences in the past several years. There were 43 papers presented, by students representing 11 colleges and universities in Western New York. This made the judges' session one of the longest and most challenging in recent memory (at any given time 15 papers were in the running for an award). Finally, 6 "Best of Conference" awards were selected and 4 "Honorable Mention" awards. We are happy to report that Nicholas Patmore received an "Honorable Mention" for his paper on the depiction of Adolf Hitler in the film, Downfall.
All of our students deserve recognition for performing so well and representing our department with the highest level of professionalism and articulate communication of their research. FYI, next year's regional conference will be hosted by SUNY-Geneseo.
- Adam Bradford, Standing Above the Rest: Miles Standish and Plymouth Plantation
- Nicholas Patmore, Revisiting History on Film:Bruno Ganz’s ‘Human Hitler’ in the Downfall
- Jeffrey Baxter,The Human Connection and Oral History: Tested and Strengthened by the Vietnam War
- Theresa Oberst, The Living Legacy of the Vietnam War
- Kristina Marie Morris,The Oral Histories of Life, Loss, and the Vietnam War: The Heroic Tale of William Parker
Katherine A. Niver, '12
"I wanted to let you know that yesterday during our local town Memorial Day celebration and parade I was stopped by one of the heads of the local Historical Society and asked if I would be able to help them create a catalog system for all of their pictures and help them to digitize their collections and help them post it to New York Heritage Online! I started this morning and boy is it a daunting but fun task!! There must be over 1000 photos and in all different categories!
This morning we spent the hours trying to figure out just how many corset factories there were and which ones were which! Tomorrow morning are the 5 different churches... But it is a great opportunity and I thought that I'd let you know and see how you were doing! I spent the morning talking all about your class to the older gentleman and he was so glad to hear that there are classes that teach "us young folk about keeping history alive" I truly enjoyed it and I can't wait to keep you updated on the adventure!"