What happens when history narratives are produced not for library bookshelves but for a mass audience? Does popularisation 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.
Teaching the lessons of the past through the music of the future
24:48J. Willgoose Esquire talks about the use and abuse of historical archives for creative work and its untapped potential. Last year J.'s band Public Service Broadcasting released an acclaimed and successful album, 'Inform-Educate-Entertain', that utilised propaganda and public information films to 'teach the lessons of the past through the music of the future'.
Moulding history for a video game story
53:41Talk by Charles Cecil MBE, video game designer (Broken Sword series) & Director of Revolution Software, at the Public and Popular History Seminar. Charles Cecil, video game industry legend and creator of the Broken Sword series discusses the uses of historical narratives in video games, and the link to different media like film. In fact, the video game industry has been a bigger industry than film for some years now, and millions of users have their most intensive encounters with representations of the past in front of a computer screen. Just what this means when historical narratives have to be moulded to fit the entertainment objectives of the video game producer is the subject of this multi-media talk by one of the most successful designers in the industry.
Architectural Heritage or Awful Houses?
1:00:00Panel Debate with Owen Hatherley, architectural historian & journalist, author of Militant Modernism (2009); Prof Peter Mandler (Gonville & Caius), President of the Royal Historical Society & author of History and National Life (2001) Prof Andrew Saint, architectural historian & general editor of the Survey of London
‘Everybody’s a fly on the wall now: new technology and editorial control in Documentary, History and News programmes’
1:12:00Hamish Mykura, Head of global development, National Geographic Channels International Until recently, the biggest development in the making of television history programmes was the use reconstruction. However, the advent of user-generated content has not only made a huge impact on the presentation of contemporary history, but it has also altered the role of the broadcaster and audience expectations.
Presenting the History of Science & Technology
1:36:00Panel discussion with Tim Boon (Chief Curator, Science Museum, London), John Lynch (CEO of TV production company Words Make Pictures Ltd, former Head of Science at BBC Television 2001-2010; & Chairman of World Congress of Science and Factual Producers), Simon Schaffer (Professor in History & Philosophy of Science, Cambridge)