Letting Go? Sharing Historical Authority in a User-Generated World
The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage is pleased to announce the publication of Letting Go? Sharing Historical Authority in a User-Generated World (distributed by Left Coast Press, September 2011, $29.95), edited by Bill Adair, Director of the Center’s Heritage Philadelphia Program (HPP); Benjamin Filene, Associate Professor and Director of Public History at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro; and Laura Koloski, HPP Senior Program Specialist.
Letting Go? investigates path-breaking public history practices at a time when the traditional expertise of museums and historical institutions is constantly challenged by evolving trends in technology, community-based programming, oral histories, and contemporary art. The anthology features 26 newly commissioned thought pieces, case studies, conversations, and artworks by 19 leading cultural practitioners, including Nina Simon, Michael Frisch, Kathleen McLean, Fred Wilson, and more. These contributors address questions of ownership in the world of Web 2.0 and social media—can everyone be a storyteller or curator?—and explore the implications of 21st-century audiences that create, rather than just receive, historical interpretation. Drawing on examples from history, art, and science museums, Letting Go? offers concrete examples of “shared” authority between institutions and audiences, as well as models for innovative integration of public curation and participation.
The marvelous and inspiring examples in Letting Go? will shape the aspirations of the future history museum as its practice leaders readjust their grip on ideas of authority. This is a book about becoming something together, our most important process as human beings.
—David Carr, author of Open Conversations: Public Learning in Libraries and Museums
Letting Go? sections and contributors:
"Virtually Breaking Down: Authority and the Web"
Nina Simon, Steve Zeitlin, Matthew Fisher and Bill Adair
"Throwing Open the Doors: Communities As Curators"
Kathleen McLean, John Kuo Wei Tchen and Liz Ševčenko, Randal Dietrich, Deborah Schwartz and Bill Adair
"Hearing Voices: Sharing Authority Through Oral History"
Michael Frisch, Benjamin Filene, Billy Yalowitz
"The Question of Evaluation: Understanding the Visitors’ Response"
Tom Satwicz and Kris Morrissey
"Constructing Perspectives: Artists and Historical Authority"
Melissa Rachleff; Fred Wilson, Paula Marincola, and Marjorie Schwarzer; Laura Koloski; Otabenga Jones; Mary Teeling