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The Future of Living History: A Virtual History Space Discussion

February 18, 2021 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm


This event is full! To join the waitlist for this free event, contact Heather Rockwood at esulock@newporthistory.org or 401-846-0813 x110. Please note that if you clicked “Going” on the Facebook event, you are not RSVP’d that way, only by calling or emailing will you be added to the waitlist.

Join the Newport Historical Society for a discussion that explores the future of living history programs on Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 5pm, virtually on Zoom. Public historians from both the academic world and museum field are invited to attend, along with living historians, reenactors and the interested public.

In 2014, the Newport Historical Society began presenting a series of site-specific living history programs that recreate conflicts which helped spark the American Revolution. These programs, which are a central part of the NHS’ History Space initiative, include the Stamp Act Riots and naval impressments from the 1760s, the harsh realities of life under military occupation in the late 1770s, and partnering with other museums to develop similar programs such as the 250th anniversary of the Boston Massacre with Revolutionary Spaces.

Although these historical events were a core part of the conflicts that shaped the foundation of the United States and led to American democracy, they could also be framed as acts of terrorism. All modern programs are presented for educational purposes, however, could this kind of event have negative connotations when presented in today’s world?

Themes discussed will include:

  • balancing sensitivities towards current events that may parallel historic events,
  • the use of weapons and violence at public history events,
  • weaving marginalized voices into programming narratives in an authentic way for a modern audience, and
  • managing visitor expectations: in a time where popular shows bend a historical theme to appeal to viewers, should museum programs bend historical accuracy to attract and maintain their audiences?


February 18, 2021
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
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Newport Historical Society