Chronicle

Who Owns the Past?
June 22, 2015

On June 22, 2015, at 2.00 the Faculty of Humanities (room 424, UCU Academic Building at 2a Kozelnytska St.) will host a seminar on "'Who Owns the Past?': The Public History in the USA." It will be a conversation with Professor Daniel Walkowitz, one of the initiators and founders of the public history program at the University of New York, and historians Sofia Dyak (Center for Urban History) and Volodymyr Sklokin (UCU). This meeting will be an opportunity to learn about the experience of creating and developing specialized public history programs and about the social and academic contexts of the emergence of public history as a separate academic field in the 1980-90s. The major formats, methods, and objectives of the discipline will also be discussed. Especially interesting in view of the initiative of implementing a public history program at UCU will be the specificity of approaches to teaching and the practice of public history, both in the United States and in comparison with other countries. The title of the seminar uses the title of a book by historian Eric Foner, one of the leading scholars of the history of the United States after the Civil War and participant of many public discussions and projects. Therefore, another topic addressed at the seminar will be the public role and responsibility of historians and in general the roles of history in the development of modern societies. We hope that the experience of New York University and the United States in general will help the discussion and search for the answers to the challenges facing historiography and the formation of a broader historical culture in modern Ukraine.

Daniel Walkowitz is a professor at New York University who specializes in labor history, urban history, and public history. He is the author of the books: Worker City, Company Town: Iron and Cotton Worker Protest in Troy and Cohoes, New York 1855-1884 (1978), Workers of the Donbass Speak: Survival and Identity in the New Ukraine (1995), Working With Class: Social Workers and the Politics of Middle-Class Identity (1999), City Folk: English Country Dance and the Politics of the Folk in Modern America (2010).