Posted on 29/03/2012
History plays an important role in the present day, argues Dr Anna Whitelock in an opinion article featured in the April issue of BBC History Magazine.
Dr Whitelock states that “public history is a much contested and misunderstood term”. With the rise of public history on television, radio and the internet she argues that there have been questions about the status and integrity of the history presented.
Dr Whitelock is a regular broadcaster and commentator on issues related to the British monarchy, the royal family, the Tudors and Stuarts. She recently featured on a Time Team episode, appeared in BBC One's The Manor Reborn and is currently an expert on BBC Radio 4 series The Art of Monarchy.
In the BBC History Magazine article she argues: “History is dynamic. It should engage with debate and address matters of public interest. Historians should see their own activities in this wider perspective and look to reach beyond the academy.”
Dr Whitelock believes that historians are in a “privileged position of being able to highlight past precedents and so offer a longer term perspective on current debates”.
She concludes: “History is ultimately a cultural form of public property and historians are the nation’s custodians. They should go forth from the academy and share the fruits of their labour.”
The full article is available in the April issue of BBC History magazine.
To find out more about Royal Holloway’s MA Public History course, visit the History Department website.