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Public and Popular History

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: David Reynolds (djr17) and Helen McCarthy (hm234).
Bernhard Fulda (bdf20) is on leave.  

Meetings on Thursdays at 5pm in the Lloyd Room, Third Court, Christ’s College.

18 October

History in Video Games: Education Or Titillation?
Video games are one of the main media through which millions derive their sense of history and their knowledge of the past.

From what sources do designers derive their historical information?

Are these games simply entertainment, or do they fulfil an educational function?

A panel of designers and commentators debate how video games use history – or abuse it.   

1 November   

Can a History Museum Be Reinvented?
Is it possible to reinvent a much-loved museum for the 21st century – in terms of scholarly content and also interpretive technologies? Can one really escape from the buildings, collections and conceptions of the past?

Dr Nigel Steel talks about the Imperial War Museum’s new First World War galleries, opened for the centenary in 2014.

Prof. Alison Blunt discusses the current redevelopment of the Geffreye Museum in Shoreditch, which explores the history of the home from 1600 to the present.


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


 Michaelmas Term 2018 programme - print version


Seminar Programme Archive

Lent Term 2018 programme

Michaelmas Term 2017 programme

Easter Term 2017 programme

Lent Term 2017 programme

 Lent Term 2015

Michaelmas Term 2014

 Lent Term 2014