Monday, April 22, 2019

5th Annual Telling Untold Histories Unconference to Be Held @ Rutgers-Newark on April 26

5th Annual Telling Untold Histories Unconference

WHEN: April 26, 2019, 9:00 AM 
: Paul Robeson’s Campus Center at Rutgers-University Newark, 350 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd., Newark  View Map
FEE: $20. Registration fee includes light breakfast, coffee, tea, and lunch! If you need to register via a purchase order, please contact Mary Rizzo at If you have dietary restrictions, please note them on the registration form and we will attempt to accommodate them.

We all tell stories. But how we tell those stories changes depending on who and where we are and on the conditions of our lives and institutions. People of color, women, LGBTQ and gender nonconforming people, and people with differing abilities have used various strategies—from whisper networks and kitchen conversations to protests and public demonstrations—to speak truth when society prefers they remain silent. Either way can make change, but as Maya Angelou wrote, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

Telling Untold Histories—New Jersey’s annual unconference on public history, museums, cultural heritage and education—is a forum for exploring how we can channel our passion for more inclusive histories into innovative public work in our state and region. We consider this task in its widest vision and in its everyday institutional realities: how do we, in other words, perform this crucial, ethical work within the constraints of time, funding, and personnel?

As a New Jersey based and internationally recognized artist who works in performance, video and installation, keynote speaker Marisa Williamson will provide insight into how to tell untold stories.

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

Because we value the knowledge you bring, this unconference puts you at the center. Unlike traditional history conferences, the specific content of our discussion sessions comes from the participants themselves, rather than formal papers. Sessions are chosen the day of the unconference, so you will decide what topics we discuss! Here are some ideas to get you thinking:

  • 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

Our six skills-based workshops are planned beforehand, are skilled-based and interactive; they occur simultaneously so you choose which one to attend when you arrive. The skills you learn and share will allow you to improve how untold histories are told.