From the February 2016 Editor's Corner

This issue features the keynote address that Tiya Miles offered at the 2015 annual meeting of the National Council on Public History. Miles’s piece guides us through the tangle of hidden histories, anxious interpreters, and patient process by which the history of the Chief Vann House State Historic Site, a former Cherokee plantation in present-day Chatsworth, Georgia, grew fully three-dimensional to those who thought they knew it well, to those who visited while memorializing the Cherokee Trail, and to those who descended from the black slaves who once toiled in Chief Vann’s fields. As always in her work, her piece includes thoughtful and acute self-critique, which in turn echoes many of the themes in our other essays. Gilberto Fernandes traces the process by which Portuguese Americans (and Portuguese nationalists in their homeland) invested substantial time and money to a political project that would place Portugal on equal footing with Spain in the “conquest and civilization” of the New World. Miles and Fernandes remind us that public history may trend in other-than-progressive directions, depending on context and interpretation. The challenges in varieties of public history practice that Miles details find extension in Andrew Hurley’s essay on the limitations associated with new digital technologies faced at the multi-campus, multi-community collaborations undertaken through the Virtual City project in Old North Saint Louis. Jason Krupar also discusses collaboration, in this case between university students, historical society staff, and black activists in Cincinnati, who worked for more than a decade to recognize the life and works of the remarkable John P. Parker, a former slave, entrepreneur, inventor, and community advocate, in local memory and place. Finally, we are pleased to publish a provocative review of the widely praised Broadway show “Hamilton” in our pages. Lyra D. Monteiro, while recognizing the many revolutionary and artistic breakthroughs in the production, views it as essentially celebratory and conservative. Finally, we hope you will appreciate the fresh redesign of the journal that debuts in this issue—new typography, layout, and cover treatments that bring the “look” of the journal into alignment with the leading-edge nature of its scholarly content.

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The Public Historian: 38 (1)

Vol. 38 No. 1, February 2016
Table of Contents

ISSN: 0272-3433
eISSN: 1533-8576
Frequency: Quarterly
Published: February, May, August, November


About The Journal

Since 1978, The Public Historian has made its mark as the definitive voice of the public history profession, providing historians with the latest scholarship and applications from the field.

The Public Historian publishes the results of scholarly research and case studies and addresses the broad substantive and theoretical issues in the field. Areas of public history covered in the journal include public policy and policy analysis; federal, state, and local history; historic preservation; oral history; museum and historical administration; documentation and information services; corporate biography; exhibition, interpretation, and public engagement, and public history education. In addition, the journal publishes reviews of exhibits, historical films, media productions, videos, and digital projects. Those interested in serving as a reviewer for the journal should submit a Reviewer Application and visit the Info for Reviewers page.

The Public Historian is sponsored by the National Council on Public History and the University of California, Santa Barbara with the support of Rutgers University–Camden.