2014 Moseley Lecture - "The Unpopularity of Popular History": A Scholar's Pursuit of Non-Scholarly Things : Presented by Greg Pfitzer, Professor of American Studies
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
8:00 PM - 10:00 PM (ET)
Palamountain Hall Gannett Auditorium
What is "popular history" and how does it differ from the kind of history pursued typically in academic institutions? This lecture distinguishes between popular history (vernacular approaches to the past offered by journalists, fiction writers, pictorial artists and untrained public figures) and professional history (as written and practiced by trained academicians employed by colleges and universities). It focuses on the efforts of popularizers to expand the scope and cultural relevance of historical studies and on the criticisms they received from scholars for trying to do so. Pfitzer considers how popular history influenced public discourse and behavior in the United States during the nineteenth century, concentrating on the ways in which collaborative interactions among publishers, writers and illustrators of non-scholarly, popular books influenced the emergence of an American historical imagination.