The six-day summer seminar will be held at Yale University in July 2013. Program participants—representatives from invited public history institutions, selected graduate students and NMAAHC staff—will attend daily sessions led by Yale faculty and senior public historians on the following:

  1. Humanities Frameworks
    Members of the Yale faculty and others will discuss major historical and cultural issues significant to the interpretation of slavery and African American history. Topics may include:

    • African origins and interactions
    • Slavery and its legacies
    • Diversities of African American community — local and regional vs. national African American history
    • Issues of race, ethnicity, peoplehood, and class in American history
    • Issues of gender, identity, and self-definition among African Americans
    • Understanding the perspectives of the contemporary African American community — memory and the uses of history

  2. Interpretive Issues
    Experienced public historians will lead examinations of critical issues involved in constructing public programs around issues of African American history and culture. These might include:

    • Constructing narratives and counter-narratives
    • Developing and articulating the project's public value, generating political, institutional, and financial support
    • Confronting the "matter" of African American history and culture — the question of collections, representation, and overcoming historical silences and voids
    • Understanding and expanding the roles of target audiences and community co-curators
    • Interpretive media and their utility
    • Project development as a mode of generating long-term resource development

  3. Project Development
    In teams led by the senior public historians, members of each invited institution and at least two student assistants will work toward framing an interpretive project during the course of the summer seminar. This framing document will briefly assess:

    • the aims and public value of the project
    • its core audiences and their important characteristics
    • its chief historical / humanities themes
    • a development timeline, with a schedule of key resources to be tapped in the ensuing year

Banner image: "New York in Transit," 2001, by Jacob Lawrence. Reproduction, including downloading of Lawrence works is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express written permission of Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.