As public historians, we grapple not only with the “what” of history making (subject and argument) but also with the “how” (process and relationships). We strive to develop projects that are dialogic and collaborative in nature, and to widely share the results of our work with the public. In doing so, we often chart new academic territory, making our way by trial and error and taking risks. By focusing on a Native American and African American historic site as case study, this essay explores how the aim to illuminate ways in which history matters in the present often drives us to create “history on the edge.”
National Council on Public History Keynote Address, 2015: Edges, Ledges, and the Limits of Craft: Imagining Historical Work beyond the Boundaries
Tiya Miles is the Mary Henrietta Graham Distinguished University Professor at the University of Michigan, where she teaches in the departments of American Culture, Afroamerican & African Studies, History, Native American Studies, and Women’s Studies. She is the author of two prize-winning works of history: Ties That Bind: The Story of an Afro-Cherokee Family in Slavery and Freedom (2005) and The House on Diamond Hill: A Cherokee Plantation Story (2010). She is co-editor, with Sharon P. Holland, of Crossing Waters, Crossing Worlds: The African Diaspora in Indian Country (2006). Miles’s first novel, The Cherokee Rose (2015) is set on a haunted plantation in the Cherokee territory of present-day Georgia, and her most recent academic study, Tales from the Haunted South: Dark Tourism and Memories of Slavery from the Civil War Era (2015) analyzes southern ghost tours.
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Tiya Miles; National Council on Public History Keynote Address, 2015: Edges, Ledges, and the Limits of Craft: Imagining Historical Work beyond the Boundaries. The Public Historian 1 February 2016; 38 (1): 8–17. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/tph.2016.38.1.8
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