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Interpreting Difficult History: Histories of Slavery, Violence, and Oppression

November 10

| $40 - $65

How do history workers engage audiences in learning about difficult histories? These are the tough stories. These are the recollections from history that can be upsetting, uncomfortable and at times even shocking to learn. This session will involve participants in learning about how to develop and deliver interpretations of difficult histories with strategies that are sensitive and offer ethical representations of historical Others. Historical representations of difficult histories can go beyond informing audiences by encouraging audience members to empathize deeply with the historical suffering of Others and to be encouraged to make meaningful connections to those who suffered and how their suffering is meaningful to society today.

Join Julie Rose as she leads a discussion based on participants’ front line experiences working with visitors and fellow history workers in working through difficult histories. We will talk about how the narratives we use to interpret slavery, war, and mass violence can be met with resistances, challenges and expressions of disbelief from our audiences. We will briefly discuss why difficult histories matter and why they feel upsetting and uncomfortable. We will discuss sensitive methods to encourage resistant learners to reconsider the tough stories that are not only important histories to recall but can be used to motivate feelings of historical empathy as part of social justice education.



Date: November 10, 2017

Time: 3pm Eastern/2pm Central/1pm Mountain/12pm Pacific/10am Hawaii/4pm Atlantic

Cost: $40 members/$65 nonmembers

Closed captioning available upon advanced notice. Please contact mitchell@aaslh.org for more information.


About the Instructor:

Julia Rose is the director/curator of Homewood Museum at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. Her primary research interests focus on interpreting difficult histories and documenting historical enslaved plantation communities for museum interpretations. She is the author of Interpreting Difficult History at Museums and Historic Sites (Rowman and Littlefield, 2016). Currently, Rose  serves as the immediate past Chairman on the Council for the American Association for State and Local History and is an editor for the MER Journal of Museum Education. She received a Ph.D. from Louisiana State University in education, a Master of Arts in Teaching from the George Washington University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art and Education from State University of New York at Albany. Rose was the director of the West Baton Rouge Museum in Louisiana. She has held curator positions at the Columbia Historical Society in Washington, D.C., Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge, East Tennessee Historical Society, and Magnolia Mound Plantation, and was a faculty member in the Master of Arts in Museum Studies Program at Southern University at New Orleans and adjunct faculty at Louisiana State University where she taught museum studies.