I love this article because it is a call for all academics to be pro- public. Often times, I feel that being pro-public falls on public historians – if at all. When we discuss books in class we notice the books audience was other academics. Articles are often written for other academics, the list goes on. The author also recognizes that not all “non-academics” can access the information that academics are referencing, or publishing. Bringing the public into the academic sphere allows for people to not only access information, but also more willing to participate in important conversations.

2 thoughts on “Pro-Public

  1. One key thing here (and I haven’t read the article yet) is the question– how do we introduce academic-level sophistication into public dialog? For instance–how does Jeremiah delineate the distinctions between the Regulator movement and the American Whig (Independence) movement–which are highly critical and important–in a Facebook post? How do I explain the intricate web of cultural expectations and expressions that tie together a firm faith in slavery among a bunch of non-slaveholders–in a brochure?


  2. While it may be difficult to explain these sort of things in a Facebook post, I think that it is important to not assume that a general public audience is full of idiots. I think that many of the academic books we read can often be geared towards general audiences. Large concepts don’t always need to be explained in let-me-look-that-up-in-the-dictionary terms.
    That is precisely why I wanted to get into the field of public history. I think most people are interested in following intricate webs of history, we just have to be willing to slow it down and use better words. What is the point of academic work if it’s not accessible to many?


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