Department of History

Center for Public History

Center for Public History

HEAD Assist. Prof. Dr. Peter Mikša
Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana
Aškerčeva cesta 2, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
Peter.miksa@ff.uni-lj.si
DEPUTY HEAD Assoc. Prof. Dr. Bojan Balkovec
Department of History
Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana
Aškerčeva cesta 2, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
bojan.balkovec@ff.uni-lj.si
ADDRESS Department of History
Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana
Aškerčeva 2, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

Center for Public History was established in 2021 and operates within the Department of History, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana.

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Center for Public History strives to spread historiographical findings among the broad public and thus promote the development of critical thought, as well as awareness of the multifacetedness, complexity, continuity, and contextualization of social phenomena. Consequently, the Center aims to provide information about the importance of knowledge and knowing of oneself, one’s own past and that of others for the development of appropriate and respectful relations. This is of vital importance because it controls damage resulting from spreading fake news and manipulating historical facts in the scope of different ideologies. Additionally, critical thinking, as well as high-quality and verified information enable the public to refrain from judging the world on the basis of stereotypical and manipulated beliefs. Public history thus enables links and good understanding between groups with, for instance, different national, political, cultural, generational, ideational belonging, etc.

The Center is active in the following realms: public history, visualisation of history through design, art, posters, memorials, informational value of other public texts (e.g. graffiti, lyrics); it deals with cultural and political trends as well. The Centre achieves its goals by way of scientific research, education and different forms of public appearances.

Namely, it aims to spread verified historiographical findings that are based on scientific methods to the broad public. The Centre seeks to familiarize young people with knowledge of the past and its importance for understanding the present; it thus aims to present history in as graphic and witty way as possible. In addition to that, the content presented is suitable for use in schools. Education is not the only sphere in which the Centre operates; it is committed to interdisciplinarity and works with geographers, architects and experts from other fields. The Centre ensures a directed and systematic operation in the sphere of public history that is still in its infancy.

The Center is tasked with promoting historical findings and methods of the Department of History to the broad public through different channels and methods:

  • Public lectures, conferences and other events (when possible these events are live-streamed on YouTube or recorded and uploaded subsequently).
  • Recording, producing and broadcasting documentaries.
  • Recording interviews with (“ordinary”) people who were involved in different social processes and witnessed historical events.
  • Production of interactive content for teaching social science, history, and active citizenship in basic and secondary schools. Along with videos, emphasis is put on modern approaches to learning, using information and communication technology (e.g. quizzes, crosswords and other exercises done using smartphones (e.g. Kahoot quizzes)).
  • Organizing exhibitions, both in their virtual and physical form.
  • Interactive depictions of historical processes (e.g. by means of maps, in a similar way as was done in the case of occupation borders or grave sites).
  • Publication of popular and academic texts.
  • Disseminating information through social media (Facebook page, YouTube, Instagram, etc.).
  • Taking part in projects dealing with oral history.
  • Inclusion of history in tourism, as was the case with boards and “occupation borders”, thematic trails, etc.
  • Raising awareness about the importance of knowledge of history through appearances in the media.
  • Websites.
  • Etc.

Additionally, the Center will develop and train personnel for public history. Its established international network will provide scientists dealing with public history with international connections, exchange of knowledge and operation.

The Center will continuously evaluate its work and plan further development.

Additional information on the Center’s current activities, news and upcoming events are available on the Center’s Facebook page.