Public history can be described as a wide range of activities that relate to the past, create and shape historical knowledge in the public sphere for and with a non-academic audience. The post offers basic information on the linkage between Public history and civic engagement, collaborative practice and ‘shared authority’ as key elements of public history, and finally formats and sites exemplary for public history.
Memory cultures that are directed at achieving a social consensus by placing the emphasis on the victims’ perspective depoliticise remembering and are a blunt instrument in countering populist or neo-nationalist approaches. The concept of ‘agonistic memory’ is a response to this and an attempt to make political differences visible and negotiable once more.
Transitional justice is in crisis. With the end of “the West”, not only has it lost its normative frame of reference; it is also accused of being a project of the cosmopolitan elite. Transitional justice actors must therefore defend and justify its values with credibility. History work should make use of the potential afforded by public history.