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Etges, Andreas / Dean, David

International Public History

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An Overview of Public History in Italy: No Longer A Field Without a Name

Serge Noiret
Published Online: 2019-08-01 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/iph-2019-0009


This article traces the origins and development of public history in Italy, a field not anymore without this name today. Public history in Italy has its roots in historical institutions born in the nineteenth century and in the post WW2 first Italian Republic. The concept of “public use of history” (1993), the important role played by memory issues in post-war society, local and national identity issues, the birth of public archaeology (2015) before public history, the emergence of history festivals in the new millennium are all important moments shaping the history of the field and described in this essay. The foundation of the “Italian Association of Public History” (AIPH) in 2016/2017, and the promotion of an Italian Public History Manifesto (2018) together with the creation of Public History masters in universities, are all concrete signs of a vital development of the field in the Peninsula.

Keywords: public history in Italy; Italian public history; digital public history; historiography; usage of history; memory; history festivals; public archaeology; abuse of history; applied history; heritage; communities; academic journals

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Published Online: 2019-08-01

Citation Information: International Public History, Volume 2, Issue 1, 20190009, ISSN (Online) 2567-1111, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/iph-2019-0009.

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