As the public debates around history grow louder, it seems there’s a gap between how history practitioners understand their work and what the public thinks history is. We need a more productive public conversation about history. But how do we get on the same page? Over the course of this series, we’ll be speaking to historians, history communicators, and educators from around the country about the language we use to communicate history to the public.
Hosted by Christy Coleman and Jason Steinhauer, this six-part series delves deep into a new, research-backed communication framework developed by FrameWorks Institute in partnership with the American Association for State and Local History, the National Council on Public History, and the Organization for American History. ReFraming History is produced by Better Lemon Creative Audio for AASLH.
1. When I Say History...
In this episode, hosts Christy Coleman and Jason Steinhauer break down the research and strategies in the Making History Matter report. Public historian Lacey Wilson shares her experiences developing a not-so-traditional historic house tour and how visitors reacted. Then AASLH President & CEO John Dichtl and FrameWorks Institute Lead Researcher Theresa Miller go through the research and recommendations step by step.
2. The Case of the Misunderstood Historical Method
In this episode, we take a closer look at the first two recommendations in the Making History Matter Report: 1) Talk about critical thinking to shift perceptions about what history involves and 2) Compare historical interpretation to detective work to deepen understanding of historical practice.
3. Making Progress Towards Justice
In this episode, we are joined by Dr. Hasan Kwame Jeffries and Heather Bruegl to discuss this Making History Matter recommendation: “Emphasize how history helps us make progress toward a just world to increase recognition of history’s importance.”
4. Communicating the Value of Inclusive History
In this episode, we explore a research-backed framework for engaging audiences in inclusive history (without the backsplash) through specific, place-based, solutions-focused examples. Our guests on this episode are Niya Bates, Susan Ferentinos, and Estevan Rael-Galvez.
5. The New Civics
In this episode, we’re examining the role history museums and organizations can play in the new civics. We're joined by Eric Liu, CEO of Citizen University; Melanie Adams, Director of the Anacostia Community Museum; and Caroline Klibanoff, Managing Director of Made By Us.
6. Now What? Using the Reframing History Report and Toolkit
Over the course of this series, we’ve explored the research and recommendations of the “Making History Matter Report.” In this final installment, we’ll discuss how to put the report’s findings into practice with a little help from two leaders in our field: Jennifer Ortiz, Director at the Utah Division of State History, and Steve Murray, Director at the Alabama Department of Archives & History. Then AASLH’s John Marks walks us through the Reframing History Toolkit and addresses some FAQs about the report.