Public and Popular History

Seminar or event series

What happens when history narratives are produced not for library bookshelves but for a mass audience? Does popularization of history automatically mean dumbing down? Who are the people who make history for the public sphere, and what are their motivations and priorities? The Public & Popular History seminar series brings them together, film makers, journalists, professional historians and museum curators. Through talks, multi-media presentations, panel discussions, and debates the seminar explores the practices and characteristics of public and popular history in the contemporary world.

Convenors: Marlo Avidon (mea47), Marcus Colla (mtc42), Bernhard Fulda (bdf20), Jean-Michel Johnston (jmj48), Zara Kesterton (zlk21), Helen McCarthy (hm234), Alice McKimm (am2851) 

The Seminar is grateful for the generous support of the Trevelyan Fund.


Wednesday 18th October

Performing History. A conversation about history & theatre.
Historian/playwright Katherine Moar - in conversation with David Reynolds

Katherine Moar's debut play Farm Hall was hailed by the Guardian as a ‘riveting
wartime thriller.’
Based on transcripts from the bugging in 1945 of captured German nuclear scientists held at
Farm Hall, near Huntingdon, it dramatizes their conflicting emotions as they learn that the
Allies beat them to the Bomb and explores deeper questions about certainty and uncertainty
in historical interpretation. The play had a two-week run at the Arts Theatre in Cambridge in

Katherine did a History and Philosophy of Science MPhil at Darwin and is now
working on a PhD at KCL and the Imperial War Museum, about public perceptions of
Churchill from WW1 to the 2020s. She will be in conversation with David Reynolds (CHR),
Emeritus Professor of International History and author of Mirrors of Greatness: Churchill
and the leaders who shaped him (2023).


Wednesday, 1st November

The Troubles in Northern Ireland and the challenges of presenting partisan pasts

James Bluemele, award-winning director of BBC documentary Once Upone a
Time in Northern Ireland (2023) and Craig Murray, curator of exhibition Northern
Ireland: Living with the Troubles at the Imperial War Museum
…in conversation with Alice McKimm and Prof. Eugenio Biagini

Wednesday, 15th November
& Wednesday,  22nd November

Doing History in Public Wikipedia edit-a-thon
University Library & online - time and venue tbc

Page credits & information

Banner image: Meridian Historic Walking Tour, Idaho. From Wiki Commons