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05/22/2019 - 05/24/2019 | Praha 6 - Bubeneč

Workshop: ‘Let’s talk about history!’ – Public history through face-to-face communication

Although oral historical narratives are omnipresent, public history has so far paid astoundingly little attention to the subject. ‘Oral history’ is understood first and foremost as a method of historical research, and not as the popularisation of historical narrative in public. But non-academic history, too – and especially – is frequently also history told orally.
In the workshop, the organisers therefore want to address various forms of oral, face-to-face communication of history.

Organisers: German Historical Institute Warsaw (DHI Warschau) / Centre for Contemporary History, Potsdam (ZZF)

People talk about history – this has been the case always and everywhere. The past is the subject of oral communication in private, at school, but also in public. The motivation of the speakers ranges from the desire to recall things and enlighten others to the marketing of a service or the fulfilment of a certain range of professional tasks: there are the guides for tourists, in museums or at memorial sites, who relate local history to domestic and foreign visitors. In addition, there are witnesses of the past, who pass on their experiences during tours or at commemorative services. Furthermore, there are interpreters of living history, antiquity dealers, collectors or other amateur historians, who turn history into a subject of public discussion.

This event aims at introducing protagonists and their practices and at analysing concrete oral situations. Fundamental questions are: what type of narrative forms can be found? To what extent do the specifics of orality (redundancies, situativity, direct speech, addressing the audience, etc.) influence historical narration? Which role does the narrative time play for the time narrated? What impact do the narrative location and the direct interaction between narrators and audience have? What is the significance of intermedia correlations and external interventions? What strategies of authentication manifest themselves in the concrete situations of communication?

More information:


Wednesday, 22 May 2019
Venue: Kampus Hybernská, Lecture Room 2D

18:00 Welcome
Karel Šima, Miloš Řezník, Sabine Stach

18:15 Evening Lecture
In cooperation with CSPK Prague
Petra Tjitske Kalshoven (Manchester): The Role of Discourse in a Mimetic Practice. Performing History in European ‘lndianism’

Get-Together / Reception

Thursday, 23 May 2019
Venue: Vila Lanna

9:30 Introduction
Sabine Stach, lrmgard Zündorf

10:00 Language & History: Different Approaches to Public Oral History and History Didactics
Chair: lrmgard Zündorf

Georg Marschnig (Graz): Language Awareness and Historical Thinking. A New Challenge for History Didactics

Moritz Lautenbach-von Ostrowski (Hamburg): Approaches to Memory. Linguistic Action in Concentration Camp Memorials

Piotr Filipkowski (Warsaw): Eye-witnesses as Guides in Historical Spaces. An Oral Historian’s lmpressions

Philippe Carasco (Berlin): Talking Simply about History? A Short lnput about “Plain Language”

12:00 Lunch

13:15 Talking while Walking: History in Guided Tours
Chair: Sabine Stach

Sarah Willner (Hechingen): Talking (about) Ötzi. Popular Performances of the Neolithic in Alpine Settings

Karolina Dudek / Sławomir Sikora (Warsaw): Storied City. Local Urban Histories as a Product of Collective Work of Many Actors

Alena Pfoser (Loughborough): Contested Heritage and the Work of Mnemonic lntermediation Guiding Russians through Tallinn

Magdalena Banaszkiewicz (Cracow): Personal Encounters in the lnterpretation of the Past. Reflections on Guides’ Narrations in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone

15:30 Coffee Break

16:00 Guided City Tour & Discussion


Friday, 24 May 2019
Venue: Vila Lanna

9:00 Talking about History in Museums: Exhibitions about the GDR and its End
Chair: Zdeněk Nebřenský

Philippe Carasco (Berlin): Re-oralisation of GDR History. A Comparison of Publicly and Privately Financed Museums in Berlin

Marie Müller-Zetzsche (Leipzig): How to Make a Historical Exhibition Talk. The Zeitgeschichtliches Forum Leipzig’s Permanent Exhibition

Christiane Schrübbers (Berlin): Why Didn’t Anyone Tell me That? Reactions to an Exhibition

10:45 Coffee Break

11:15 Talking about History in Museums: Inclusion & Dialogue
Chair: Jakub Jareš

Patrick Helber (Berlin): Colonialism and Enslavement in a Bottle

Andy Simanowitz (Berlin): Jerusalem in Dialogue – Personal Contributions vs. Institutional Determinants

Thea Jakob (Erfurt): Participially Told History at the Museum. Tandem Guided Tours by Guides with and without Down-syndrome at “Touchdown” Exhibition

Aleksandr Afanasjev (Moscow): A Conversation with Children about History. Experiences from the “Museum of Moscow”

13:15 Wrap-up Discussion

14:00 Departure / Lunch (self-pay)

Information on participating / attending:
Please register by May 20, 2019 at Sabine Stach (German Historical Institute Warsaw):


05/22/2019 18:00 - 05/24/2019 14:00

Registration deadline:


Event venue:

Vila Lanna
V Sadech 1
160 00 Praha 6 - Bubeneč
Czech Republic

Target group:

Scientists and scholars



Subject areas:

History / archaeology, Media and communication sciences, Social studies

Types of events:

Seminar / workshop / discussion




Marion Schlöttke



Event is free:


Language of the text:


URL of this event:

attachment icon Program_Flyer_Let’s_talk_about_history!


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