Academic year
2020/2021 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
FM0474 (AF:334493 AR:176560)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Master's Degree Programme (DM270)
Educational sector code
1st Semester
Go to Moodle page
The workshop is part of the Master’s Degree Programme in ‘History from the Middle Ages to the Present’, and is connected to the Venice Centre for Digital and Public Humanities (VeDPH) in the Department of Humanities.
The objectives of the course are: the acquisition of Public History’s tools and methodologies, the understanding of some of the issues related to the production and consumption of history in public, with the public, and for the public. At the core of the course is the execution of a project that combines historical research and public engagement. The achievement of these objectives will enable the student to develop the skills to navigate the world of Public History and understand the basic techniques of the dissemination of historical research to a general public.
1. Knowledge and understanding:
• Knowledge of the evolution of the Public History from the twentieth century to the present.
• Knowledge of the relevant theoretical and intellectual debate.
• Knowledge of the main techniques and methodologies of historical research carried out with the public and in public.
• Knowledge of the main techniques and methodologies of historical dissemination carried out with the public and in public.
2. Ability to apply knowledge and understanding:
• Ability to apply the practice of Public History to a specific case of popular dissemination of history.
• Ability to solve the problems connected to the dissemination of historical studies in non-academic contexts.
3. Judgement skills:
• Ability to critically analyse a historical source.
• Ability to develop critical thinking skills with reference to the issue of the public use of history and the alteration of historical memory in non-scholarly contexts.
4. Communication skills:
• Ability to interact with the peers and the professor and communicate the outcomes of the student's work.
Basic knowledge of medieval, early modern, or modern history.
No specific computer science knowledge is required.
For its own nature, the workshop revolves around the execution of a project to be carried on throughout the semester. The student will work towards the creation (or perhaps the editing) of a Wikipedia article of historical subject, which should fall within his competence and will be chosen together with the professor. In this respect, the work will be divided in two different phases, strictly connected one another:
1. Historical research on the secondary sources available on the topic, including their critical assessment.
2. Creation (or editing) of a Wikipedia article.
The use of electronic tools and a digital online platform make it a form of Digital Public History.

Apart from the workshop activity, the contents of the course will include a series of more general topics related to the theory and practice of Public History, such as:
• Public sources
• Public memory and historical sites
• Museums, archives and heritage centres
• Community history
• Oral history
• Public History writing
• History in the media and the web
• History and fiction
• Re-enactments and commemorations
• History games
• Public engagement
• Shared authority and crowdsourcing
• Public historian and occupational opportunities
Core Readings:
• Serge Noiret, ‘«Public History» e «storia pubblica» nella rete’, Ricerche storiche, 39. 2-3 (2009), pp. 275–327.
• Benedetta Giuliani, 'Dalla public history alla applied history. Ruolo pubblico e funzione politica della storia nel recente dibattito storiografico angloamericano', Diacronie-Studi di Storia Contemporanea, 32. 4 (2017), pp. 1-24.
• Thomas Cauvin, ‘The Rise of Public History: An International Perspective’, Historia Crítica, 68 (2018), pp. 3-26.
• Mirco Carrattieri, 'Per una Public History italiana', Italia Contemporanea, 289 (April 2019), pp. 106-121.

• Roy Rosenzweig, ‘Can History Be Open Source? Wikipedia and the Future of the Past’, The Journal of American History, vol. 93.1 (2006), pp. 117-146.
• Robert S. Wolff, ‘The Historian’s Craft, Popular Memory, and Wikipedia’, in Writing History in the Digital Age, eds by Jack Dougherty and Kristen Nawrotzki, Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press, 2013, pp. 64-74.

Further Reading:
• Thomas Cauvin, Public History: A Textbook of Practice, New York-London, Routledge, 2016.

As for every other workshop, for the Public History Workshop there is no a final oral exam.
Assessment consists of a qualification ('idoneità') and will be based on the following components:
1) Execution of the workshop project on the Wikipedia article.
2) Class presentation.
3) Participation to class discussions.

Part-time students are kindly asked to contact the professor to agree an effective way to carry out the workshop.
Classes with both lecture and seminar activity with interaction between professor and students.
Execution of the workshop project.
Given the nature of the workshop, both attendance and active participation to class discussions are very important. Students have to be present at at least 7 out of 10 classes; if you have to miss a class please contact the professor beforehand to explain and ask how to make up.
Didactic materials will be made available through the Moodle e-learning platform.
Accessibility, Disability and Inclusion.
Accommodation and support services for students with disabilities and students with specific learning impairments:
Ca’ Foscari abides by Italian Law (Law 17/1999; Law 170/2010) regarding support services and accommodation available to students with disabilities. This includes students with mobility, visual, hearing and other disabilities (Law 17/1999), and specific learning impairments (Law 170/2010). If you have a disability or impairment that requires accommodations (i.e., alternate testing, readers, note takers or interpreters) please contact the Disability and Accessibility Offices in Student Services:

This subject deals with topics related to the macro-area "Human capital, health, education" and contributes to the achievement of one or more goals of U. N. Agenda for Sustainable Development

Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 12/02/2021