Building on the 2020 symposium, which dealt with public history and public participation in museums, this 2021 event focuses on the multiple and diverse narratives in participatory history. Reinforced by ideology, identity, memory, and personal stories, public participation can enrich history and foster a variety of perspectives that may compete or complement one another. Navigating diverse experiences and perceptions of the past raises the matter of diverse interpretations of historical narratives and their possible inclusion in historiography and museums. This plurality can affect historical narrations, especially within highly conflicting societies, where the perceptions of historical facts can be very diverse and sometimes even incompatible. Museums can be battlegrounds for political discussions, seeking to mediate between often emotionally, and sometimes ideologically, charged discourses about the histories of nations, individuals, and identities.
The 2021 symposium will bring together scholars, museum and archives professionals, heritage and other public history practitioners to discuss if and how multiple and sometimes conflicting historical narratives can coexist in museums.
We welcome submissions that discuss and demonstrate specific participatory projects and approaches addressing the multiplicity of historical narratives in museums, as well as those that address broader methodological and epistemological issues pertaining to the approaches to polyvocality in historiography and museums.
Possible themes include but are not limited to: