Monday, February 2, 2009

Academic and Public Historians: Working together?

Sean Kheraj, a postdoctoral student at the University of British Columbia recently defended his doctoral thesis on the environmental history of Vancouver's famous Stanley Park. In most people's books, that' makes him an expert on the field.

Sean was recently asked to write a review of the Vancouver Museum's exhibit, "The Unnatural History of Stanley Park." The experience, which Kheraj likened to "witnessing the physical manifestation of my dissertation as a museum display," was a challenge for him. Every detail that the museum had gotten wrong popped out. But, rather than posting a negative review, Kheraj reflected on the role many academic historians could be playing as consultants in instances that they choose not to.

It's something that came up a lot last year in our UWO Public History discussions, but perhaps not something that regularly enters the consciousness of many academic historians.

You can read the review at


Sean Kheraj said...

Thanks for posting this in your blog. Keep an eye out for a full review of this exhibit in the next issue of BC Studies along with a photo essay of the exhibit.

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