2013 Mass History Conference

“Listen my children and you shall hear”:
Balancing History and Myth in Massachusetts Public History

A Conference for Massachusetts History Organizationslogo

Presented by Mass Humanities, Massachusetts Historical Society, University of Massachusetts Amherst Public History Program, University of Massachusetts Boston Public History and Archives Track

Monday, June 3, 2013

9:00am – 4:00pm
Hogan Campus Center, College of Holy Cross, Worcester

Join us on Monday, June 3rd for a thought-provoking day examining myth in Massachusetts history. Ray Raphael, author of the forth-coming Constitutional Myths: What We Get Wrong and How to Get it Right (March 2013), a companion volume to the earlier Founding Myths: Stories that Hide our Patriotic Past, will explore “Why Myths Persist” in his keynote address.

In sessions and round tables such as Massachusetts History beyond the Tea Party; Reinterpretation 101; Redefining Freedom on the Trail, and “It Never Happened Here”: Iconic Myth as Burden we will examine and present organizations, programs and projects that have successfully harnessed myths, expanded their narratives, and redefined their mission without losing their identity. In practical sessions/workshops we will explore “teaching the problem,” and how to use this model for programming purposes in exciting ways that successfully challenge audiences.

Visit the Mass History Commons wiki, a companion site where you can interact with other attendees, participate in eRideShare for the conference, sign up for space in the Mass Commons room, and later find the presentations from the various sessions.

Registration Fees
Fee includes workshop, morning refreshments,
buffet lunch (vegetarian option available), and afternoon snack
Registrations cannot be refunded; however you may send another person in your place.
$85 Standard Fee per person
$60 Student Fee (include copy of student ID with registration or bring ID to event if registering online)
$75 Per person for 3 registrants from same organization at the same time
$65 Per person for 4 registrants from same organization at the same time


9-9:30 AM

Registration & Continental Breakfast

9-4:00 PM
Room 328

Mass History Commons
A place to exchange ideas and conversation, and to showcase your organization, projects, and products.

9:30-9:45 AM


9:45-10:45 AM

Keynote Address: Why Myths Persist — And How History Can Compete by Ray Raphael
Author, Founding Myths: Stories that Hide Our Patriotic Past and Constitutional Myths: What We Get Wrong and How to Get It Right

10:45-11:00 AM


11-12:15 PM
Concurrent Sessions A
  1. Whose Freedom is it Anyway? The Freedom Trail® as Concept and Conceit
  2. Revealing the Past by Reading the Landscape
11-12:15 PM
Skills Workshop A

(Space is limited. Pre-registration required.)
  1. Skills Workshop: Using Technology to Create Innovative Tours
12:15 – 1:15 PM

Lunch Buffet (vegetarian option available)

12:15-1:15 PM
Room 328

THE ASK (Mass History Commons)

  • Wonder whether your project is suitable for a grant proposal?
  • Need an intern?
  • Thinking about going back to school?

Sign up in the morning for a speed date and use your lunch hour to talk with the people who know the answers to your questions!

12:45-1:00 PM

Bay State Legacy Award – Ray Raphael
Mass History Award – The Royall House and Slave Quarters

1:00 – 4:00 PM
Workshops B

(Space is limited. Pre-registration required.)
  1. Skills Workshop: Reading Objects for Their True Value
  2. MA SHRAB Preservation Workshop: Living to Fight Another Day: Basic Stabilization Techniques for Digital Materials
1:15-2:30 PM
Concurrent Sessions B
  1. Taking Steps to Ensure Successful Site Reinterpretation
  2. Working with Revered Figures: Having Your Myth and Busting It, Too
  3. It Never Happened Here but It Made a Good Story: Juggling Pilgrims and Puritans, Indians, and Witches
2:30-2:45 PM
Room 328
Join us for afternoon refreshments in the Mass History Commons
2:45-4:00 PM
Concurrent Sessions C
  1. “You Say You Want a Revolution…”
  2. Mission and Identity: Redefining One without Losing the Other
  3. “The truth shall make you free”: Building Community Participation by Taking on Difficult Issues
5:00-6:00 PM
Canal Museum, Green Island, Worcester

(Space is limited. Pre-registration required.)
TOUR: Worcester’s Blackstone Canal Horse and Wagon Tours
(weather permitting)