Public History Collaborative
About the Collaborative
The Public History Collaborative, inaugurated in July 2019, is an initiative of the History Department at the University of Arizona. The collaborative is both a physical space, an intellectual commitment to making the practice of history more collaborative for faculty, students and staff, and an ethical commitment to working in ways that are productive for the public and not extractive and exploitative.
Our Physical Space
The physical space is a makerspace in Room 406 on the fourth floor of the César E. Chávez Building, 1110 James E. Rogers Way on the UA campus. We envision this as a space where the public, faculty, students and staff gather to meet new people, to create, to collaborate, to share ideas and to learn new analog and digital tools and processes for moving from idea to project.
In the physical space, we are hosting monthly workshops to bring people together to meet, talk, learn, share and ask questions about ideas, projects, tools and platforms that are helpful for creating public history projects. We will also have regular drop-in hours for one-on-one sessions, for access to technology and library resources, and for making quick and easy projects, including exhibits, zines and posters.
The practice of history is usually an individual enterprise. The PHC wants to change that. We have an intellectual commitment to working with faculty, students and staff throughout the university to make the practice of history more collaborative in online and in-person classes and through publications and projects. We are also developing language and policies that would make public history work count in tenure and promotion.
We also have an ethical commitment to a vision of public history that sees the public as producers of history. This ethical commitment extends to resisting a transactional trend in public history (and public engagement) in which institutions extract ideas, materials and bodies in ways that are exploitative because they are financially and intellectually beneficial to institutions but not to the public. We are interested in using institutional resources to support a wide range of projects created by the public. These institutional resources include space, materials, one-on-one sessions, interns and assistance locating and applying for grants.
The Public History Collaborative is also mobile. We are happy to visit with individuals and organizations outside of the university. We will also form partnerships to duplicate the makerspace and workshops in other settings.
You can reach us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marya Annette McQuirter is the Director of the Public History Collaborative. She can be reached directly via email at email@example.com.
We look forward to working with you!
Frequently Asked Questions
Public history is usually understood as history created by professionals (scholars, museum curators, filmmakers) for a general audience. At PHC, we define public history as history by, for and in collaboration with the public.
We can help you through conversations—in person, via phone, email and digital platforms—to think through your project, by sharing resources and by providing a space for you to learn and collaborate.