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date: 15 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Public surveys in Anglophone countries suggest that many individuals learn most of their history from family or cultural institutions, rather than from reading scholarship or sitting in classrooms. As histories of silenced groups, forgotten tribes, and ignored communities gain a place in the contemporary narrative of national histories, we must explore the methods and assumptions used by those who created the intellectual and legal frameworks that determine who in the past were represented as historical players and why others were not. Analyzing public policy documents can help us understand the cultural assumptions underlying historic preservation decisions. Modifying or rethinking those assumptions entirely can permit us to “dialogue across difference” and work for inclusive cultural identities in our public places.

Keywords: cultural institutions, diversity, difference, dialogue, public history

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