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The Centre for History and Public Pasts promotes scholarly research and critical thinking about the ways in which history is put to work in the world.

Operating across disciplinary boundaries, it focuses on how histories resonate in the public sphere to connect past imaginaries with current concerns. In particular, the Centre encourages work that investigates how representations of the past are used to engage with contemporary issues of social justice and solidarity. In doing so, it is equally interested in forms of ‘past talk’ – by artists, performers, writers, filmmakers, activists and others – that are not recognised as conventional histories.  

The Centre organises conferences, workshops and seminars. Its affiliates publish research papers, books and essays, as well as engaging with wider audiences through talks and media work. The Centre also provides a base for the study of public history at undergraduate and postgraduate level, including research degrees.

If you are interested in finding out more about our MA in Public History or discussing a potential doctoral project, please contact one of the Centre’s co-directors, Mark Donnelly and Claire Norton, at: and