Disrupting Institutional Power is a Working Group designed for the 2018 Annual Meeting of the National Council on Public History. The Working Group facilitators are Denise D. Meringolo, University of Maryland Baltimore County; Elizabeth Nix, The University of Baltimore; Eli Pousson, Baltimore Heritage; Kathryn Oberdeck, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; Devin Hunter, University of Illinois, Springfield; and Anke Voss, The Urbana Free Library.
We have four interrelated goals: to identify barriers and opportunities for cross-institutional partnerships in public history education; to document new and ongoing experiments in collaboration across traditional institutional lines, challenging preconceived notions of power and authority; to draw attention to the way these practices might transform both the field of public history and institutions of higher learning, by making them more broadly inclusive; and to craft formal proposals for one or more pilot programs.
The Working Group participants are Taylor Bye, University of Missouri – Kansas City; Elyssa Ford, Northwest Missouri State University; Eric Nystrom, Arizona State University; Mary Rizzo, Rutgers University-Newark; Malgorzata Rymsza-Pawlowska, American University-Department of History; Sarah Scripps, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point; and Sarah Soleim, North Carolina State University.
Prior to our meeting in Las Vegas, NV, in April, 2018, the Working Group facilitators will lead an online dialogue. This pre-conference discussion is intended to establish a strong foundation for our in-person meeting.
This is the first of three posts that will compose that dialogue.
Working Group participants: please share your case statements by submitting it as a comment on this post. Your statement should be between 500 and 750 words, and it should connect your own work and interests to some or all of the questions posed in the original working group call. In other words, tell us what drew you to this Working Group and how precisely you think you can contribute to the achievement of its goals.
The questions are as follows:
Is it possible to disrupt lines of power that establish universities as individual and discrete entities in order to establish deeply collaborative opportunities for teaching and learning? How might university-community partnerships broaden horizontally, bringing together faculty, students, and organizations across a variety of borders? Is there evidence we can present to Department Chairs and University Administrators that might allay fears of competition? Might cross-institutional partnerships help departments clarify and promote particular areas of expertise, complementing one another and building high quality state and regional systems? Might cross-institutional cooperation help establish and support best practices for internship project development, supervision, and assessment?