Student and Early Career Group

IFPH’s Student and Early Career Group is a collective that encourages transnational engagement between students and early-career practitioners of International Public History. Its goal is to be a site where participants practicing and/or studying International Public History can exchange, workshop, and discuss projects, ideas, methodologies, and issues in the field while broadening their networks.

SECG is currently organized by students in Germany, the United States, and Poland but is always interested and eager for more involvement. Please email if you’d like to become a part of our organizing committee! 

Public History as Activism? 

In their 2021 volume, Meringolo et. al. set forth the claim that public history is uniquely political and has activist roots and intentions. Their studies refer to the U.S. context but have implications for how we see and understand the shape of our field in a global context. As they observe, some public historians are eager to engage the activist elements of the discipline while others remain reluctant to position their work in relation to activism or social justice. 

For the Spring 2024 semester, IFPH’s SECG is interested in exploring the question of public history as activism and its related themes. Our global and national societies continually demonstrate the need for public historians as our communities face new and continued political challenges, social and cultural fissures, and a host of issues related to climate change, far-right policies, and more. SECG’s goal is thus to explore the roots and continued efforts of public history in the realm of justice and activism, to discuss its implications for how we do or do not practice history in public, and the way this has the potential to shape the field into the future. 

We invite you to join us for our first meeting on the 20th of February 2024 at 7 pm CET (Join Zoom Meeting) where we will have an open roundtable discussion about this theme and its surrounding questions. This is meant to be an engaging and open conversation and we hope to attract significant and diverse participation. During this meeting, we hope to crowdsource a resource list on public history and activism that will only continue to grow over the semester. We will also set an agenda for future meetings related to this theme we’d like to explore more in-depth. This can include but is by no means limited to decolonization, exhibitions for social justice, oral history, repatriation, community and counter archives, gender, sexuality, disability studies in public history, and more. 

We hope you’ll join our discussion and be a part of our growing community of student and early-career public historians! Please check this page for regular updates about forthcoming meetings and initiatives. 



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