Amsterdam #IFPH2014 October 23-25: Minutes of two Steering Committee Meetings and of the General Assembly


The first International Federation for Public History (IFPH-FIHP) annual conference was co-organised at the University of Amsterdam by the Amsterdam Center for Cultural Heritage and Identity, (University of Amsterdam), the Amsterdam School for Culture and History, (University of Amsterdam) and the NIOD, Amsterdam Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, and was co-sponsored by: the Foundation for the History of Technology, (Eindhoven University of Technology).

The conference Website at UvA ( is hosting a student blog still active before Christmas 2014 and engaging with some conference topics:

Furthermore, a PDF document contains the complete Booklet with the twitter conference. Conversations with the hashtag #IFPH2014, were Storified by Nico Nolden (@NicoNolden): IFPH 2014 Twitterstorians Parallel Conference: Gathered at Amsterdam Twitterstorians commented on the Conference of IFPH 2014. Their discussions were even enhanced by comments of Twitterstorians from outside internationally. This compilation contains the tweets in between Tuesday, 21st Oct. and Monday, 27th Oct. (by Tag #IFPH2014). 

The full program of the conference is available on our website but the two International Federation for Public History, Steering Committee meetings happened just before the conference on Wednesday October 22, 2014, (Hotel Eden, Amsterdam) and during the meeting on Thursday October 23, at the University of Amsterdam. The general Assembly closed the conference on Saturday October 23, morning.

 Minutes, SC Meeting I, October 22

(Present:  Serge Noiret, Chair; Arnita Jones, Corresponding Secretary; Jean-Pierre Morin, Vice-Chair; Ania Adamek and Andreas Etges, at large members. The Treasurer, Michael Devine was absent)

Committee members discussed the financial report sent before the meeting by Treasurer Michael Devine.  The current balance in the Federation’s accounts was $2915.  Expenses to 22nd of October have amounted to $2035 in support of the Conference “Public History in a Digital World:  The Revolution Reconsidered” at the University of Amsterdam.  Devine’s report also noted that the year-end membership drive should bring the balance up to about  $5000.  The free banking services the IFPH currently enjoy require that we maintain a balance of $2000.

Elections for outgoing steering committee member, Ania Adamek will take before the end of her mandate in 2015.  The nominating committee (Morin and Adamek) asked for candidates during the General Assembly on Saturday October 23, 2014 and nominated Thomas Cauvin (University of Louisiana, Lafayette), to fill the at large steering committee slot. Because he was the only candidate, a referendum promoted by Jean-Pierre Morin between IFPH members followed and confirmed Thomas Cauvin election.  Cauvin was proclamed elected in substitution of Annia Adamek before the end of 2014.

Future IFPH annual meetings.

Jinan 2015. Arnita Jones reviewed the #IFPH2015 program to be held in conjunction with the International Congress for Historical Sciences in Jinan, China in August 24-28.  Jones reported that the Federation’s Program


would consist of a Roundtable on “Why Public History” as part of the official CISH/ICHS program that will include a paper prepared by Arnita Jones and Alix Green of the UK, with comments by historians from the US, Canada, Italy and Nigeria/Canada.  Sessions to be held on August 27 and 28 of the 2nd Annual Meeting of the IFPH will include a keynote presentation by University of Bologna historian Ilaria Porciani, as well as sessions on Teaching Public History, Museums and Public History and Digital Public History.  Serge Noiret reported that he hopes that a THATCamp could still be organized for the Jinan Conference. Today, after a further meeting in Paris with CISH-IFHS President, Prof. Robert Frank, we verified that a complete THATcamp could not be organised. On August 25, day of the 4th big theme Digital Turn in History/Le tournant numérique en Histoire, during the evening session, Promoting Digital History internationally, IFPH President, Serge Noiret will introduce Patrick Murray-John’s (Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, Department of History and Art History, George Mason University) keynote: The Humanities And Technology Camp: How an informal conference structure spreads knowledge and interest in the Digital Humanities: Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media projects and the role of the Humanities and Technology Camp (THATCamp).

Amsterdam 2014 and Bogota 2016. Serge Noiret reported on preparations for the 2014 Amsterdam conference.  In discussing both the Amsterdam and future conferences, committee members affirmed the need to have a Memorandum of Agreement with host institutions; a memorandum should include a budget and fee sharing schedules, a requirement of IFPH membership for historians participating as speakers on the program and adequate institutional support for publicizing the conference/program.

IFPH-FIHP Poster 2014-2015 Promotion Campaign

Membership committee chair Anna Adamek reported that renewal notices will be sent out shortly: memberships for those signing up in November and December of 2014 will be in effect through the end of 2015 like it was also decided in 2013 for 2014.

 Minutes, SC Meeting II, October 23

(Present:  Serge Noiret, Chair; Arnita Jones, Corresponding Secretary; Jean-Pierre Morin, Vice-Chair; Ania Adamek and Andreas Etges, at large members. The Treasurer, Michael Devine was absent)

IFPH Annual meetings 2016 and 2017

The meeting began with a presentation by Ana Maria Otero-Cleves from the Universidad de los Andes in Bogota, the site hosting the 2016 IFPH annual meetingThe Steering Committee also agreed that for the 2017 meeting it would be time for the IFPH to return to Europe and discussed the relative advantages of Venice, Florence, and Berlin.  Venice could be particularly attractive due to the possibility of outside support. These alternatives will be explored further by members of the Steering Committee and a Memorandum of Agreement will be proposed early in 2015 to Bogota organizers .

#IFPH2014 closed Saturday October 25, 2014 in Amsterdam. #IFPH2015 will take place in Jinan, China, August 27-28, 2015 and #IFPH2016 in Bogota, Colombia in June 2016.

Serge Noiret and Andreas Edges introduced the possibility of future IFPH publications, and the recent agreement with the publisher De Gruyter-Oldenbourg blog journal Public History Weekly.

#IFPH2014 by @infoclio

Photo by Infoclio, Enrico Natale

The meeting was then opened to the floor comments about the field, future programs, and the role of the IPFH. 
56 members were in attendance at  the IFPH General Assembly.  Steering Committee chair Serge Noiret began the meeting with a report on the attendance at Amsterdam (about 150 participants).  He thanked the sponsors of the conference and the organizers Manon Parry and Paul Knevel and their colleagues for their work in putting together the program for the meeting and also the University of Amsterdam and the NIOD for hosting it. Noiret reviewed plans for the upcoming IFPH annual meeting in Bogota, Columbia in 2016.  He also discussed the joint conference with the International Committee on Historical Sciences, CISH/ICHS in Jinan, China, in 2016, and a probable return to Europe in 2017. He said about the ongoing election of a Steering Committee member and about the need of candidatures. Among the comments and concerns expressed were the following:


  •  IFPH should include a little more on theoretical framing; public history in historical perspective (Nico Holden, Hamburg).
  • a need to identify financial and other resources for historians working in the field of public history.
  • examine role of student participation and attendance (Morin, Noiret) – how to incorporate students better into the organization.
  • creation of a network for exchange of information, particularly for those outside academic institutions. (NOTE:  subsequent to the General Assembly students have requested a special committee now promoted and organised by Thomas Cauvin).
  • identification of possible sub-groups within the IFPH, for example, government historians (Parry)
  • discussion of how public history fits into interdisciplinary research.
  • international collaboration among universities in relation to teaching programs; particularly finding ways to connect students from different programs and identifying international internship exchanges
  • collaboration with and among public history institutions that are international in scope; for example, International Sites of Conscience, etc..
  • some attention to improving conferences by providing lists of archives or other points of interest in the convention cities; “dine-arounds” which provide informal ways for public historians to become acquainted
  • a need to be more reflective about why we are doing what we are doing, our goals, aims (Knevel)

As the meeting ended those attended joined Manon Parry in thanking the students at the university who worked very hard to insure the success of the conference.



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