Reframing History

This year, I’ve had a couple opportunities to help amplify a new report in the public history field titled Reframing HistoryA joint project by the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH), the National Council on Public History, and the Organization of American Historians, Reframing History offers suggestions for describing the work of historians in a way that resonates with the larger public. The suggestions are based on extensive research by the Frameworks Institute. This video offers more information about the project.

In an effort to spread the word about the report and to demonstrate some of its implications for public history organizations, AASLH created a limited-run podcast. I had the privilege of being interviewed for the podcast’s episode on “Communicating the Value of Inclusive History.” You can listen to that episode here.

A few months later, as part of the AASLH annual meeting in Buffalo, New York, I had yet another opportunity to spread the word about the report and discuss its implications for the work public historians do.  I co-facilitated a half-day workshop on history communication with John G. Marks, AASLH Senior Manager of Strategic Initiatives. Together with about fifty workshop participants, John and I explored some of the ways Reframing History can aid history organizations in their work.

A European American man in a suit jacket speaking at a podium, with a "Reframing History" slide projected in the background
John G. Marks, explaining the "Reframing History" findings

As so often happens, the process of sharing the report’s findings with others and considering some of the applications of the research has enabled me to clarify my own thinking about the ways we communicate to a wider public. I look forward to continuing to hone my own approach to talking with a variety of audiences about the importance of understanding the past.