Education conference on 'Teaching the Past: Dissenting Histories in the Classroom'

September 10, 2014  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Indiana educators and the public interested in history are invited to register for the "Teaching the Past: Dissenting Histories in the Classroom" conference on Oct. 11 at Purdue University.

Online registration is required for the event, and a discounted rate of $12 is available until Sept. 15. After Sept. 15, the conference rate is $20. The fee includes breakfast, lunch and an evening reception.

The keynote speech, "Our Declaration: Teaching the Declaration of Independence Today," will be presented by Danielle Allen, UPS Foundation Professor of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. Allen is a political theorist who has published broadly in democratic theory, political sociology, and the history of political thought and is the author of "Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality" and "Talking to Strangers: Anxieties of Citizenship since Brown v. Board of Education." Also, educators from the elementary to the postsecondary level will be able to share strategies, case studies and questions during the four panel sessions. More information about the panel speakers is available online.

"The conference will provide a unique opportunity for historians across the state to collaborate with historical scholars at Purdue as they discuss novel methods for exploring and teaching the past to students," said David Nelson, associate director of Purdue's Center for Instructional Excellence.

This conference is funded by a matching grant from Indiana Humanities in cooperation with the National Endowment for the Humanities, and by sponsorship from Purdue's Department of History, School of Languages and Cultures, and Center for Instructional Excellence.

"The themes of this conference are important for a wide variety of subject areas," said Jennifer William, an associate professor of German and a member of the organizing committee. "Why do some narratives of events gain authority through repetition, while others are left in obscurity? How have different cultures and individuals categorized 'fact' and 'fiction,' or 'myth' and 'gossip' in different ways? These issues come up in any field that exposes students to earlier times and unfamiliar cultures."

Writer: Amy Patterson Neubert, 765-494-9723,

Sources: Jennifer William,

Jennifer Foray, an associate professor of history and an event organizer,

Antonia Syson, an associate professor of classics,

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