What is the Public of Public History? Between the Public Sphere and Public Agency
Public history constitutes a historical field, it includes several related journals, membership organisations, research centres, undergraduate and graduate programs all over the world. Most importantly, Public History has been marked by growing historiography and an increasing public interest in history. However, there is a lack of research on the most important constituent element of Public History, the ‘public’. The aim of this paper is to shed light on how Public History has approached the public in the last four decades. By focusing on the two different forms the public has taken, the public sphere and the public agency, the paper examines the notion of the public as it appeared in the historiography and how it determined the epistemology and methodology of Public History.
Keywords: Public agency • Public • Public sphere • Public History • Historiography of Public History