The Ph.D. Program in History

at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York

Non-GC Events

May 11 The Public History Unconference: Telling Untold Stories



Hello Public Historians!

Every place, every person, and every object has a history, but not all histories are told.

Telling Untold Histories – New Jersey’s annual unconference that looks for human stories yet to be told – explores these histories and asks why some stories remain untold. How can the community members who lived these histories shape how museums, historic sites, libraries, and schools tell them in the future?

Because we value the knowledge you bring, this unconference puts you at the center. Participants create the program by suggesting and choosing sessions on the day of the unconference. Feel the suspense building! Workshops offer attendees the chance to learn new skills to help you tell stories. Discussions and activities connect you with new people and leave you inspired.

Registration is now open!

Who should attend? Curators and educators, archivists and archaeologists, oral historians and librarians, historic preservationists and community activists, as well as grantmakers, funders, and history lovers!

  • Using material culture to reveal hidden histories.
  • Lessons from (successful and not-so-successful) collaborations with communities.
  • How public history can address contemporary social issues like mass incarceration, immigration, and police brutality.
  • Showing that parks and other natural places have histories.
  • New Jersey is one of the most racially and ethnically diverse states in the country. Who is telling the histories of Latino/as, Native Americans, Asian Americans, African Americans, and others?
  • The role of archives in defining what counts as history.

Want to see what happened at the 2016 unconference? Check out the Google docs from every session and workshop, and the Storify of our twitter conversation.


What is an unconference? An unconference is a participant-driven, discussion-based conference. At an unconference, the agenda is created by the attendees at the beginning of the meeting. Unconferences typically feature open discussions rather than having a single speaker at the front of the room giving a talk. This form of conference is particularly useful for a topic like Telling Untold Histories because it provides opportunities for problem-solving and encourages collaboration.

Who organized this unconference? The Untold Histories committee members come from a variety of organizations and backgrounds.