SHAFR-Institute for the Study of Diplomacy Workshop on Public Engagement (2019)

SHAFR-Institute for the Study of Diplomacy
Pre-Conference Workshop on Historians and Public Engagement

June 18 and 19, 2019
Georgetown University


SHAFR and the Georgetown University’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy (ISD) invite all SHAFR members to participate in a co-sponsored workshop on the historian’s role to engage and inform the public and policy world to be held at Georgetown University on June 18 and 19, 2019, just prior to the annual SHAFR conference.  

This workshop follows on and is guided by the 2017 SHAFR-Miller Center workshop on public engagement. As such, the workshop is intended to provide an opportunity for historians of U.S. foreign relations and international history more broadly to consider ways in which we might play a larger role in public conversations about the United States and the world.

In addition to addressing the challenges and opportunities associated with greater public engagement, the workshop will provide attendees an opportunity to explore different approaches to engaging “the public”— including the historian’s capacity to inform policy; to relate the relevance of history to local, state, and national communities; and to engage our students as civic agents.

The overall purpose of the conference is to consider the ways in which history informs contemporary U.S. foreign relations (and beyond) and to think strategically about how we can make those relationships clearer to diverse public audiences. Panel Discussions will include conversations about engaging diverse audiences, and will feature historians, policymakers, journalists, and social media experts.  The workshop will conclude with observations from presenters and attendees, drawn from the panel discussions, along with a conversation about potential follow-up activities.

Tentative Workshop Agenda (subject to change)

Tuesday, June 18

 6:00-9:00         Dinner and informal discussion

Wednesday, June 19

8:30-9:00         Breakfast

9:00-9:15         Welcome

9:15-10:45       Panel Discussion: Historians as Public- and Community-Engaged Scholars

11:00-12:30     Panel Discussion: Historians and the Media

12:30-1:30       Lunch: Engaging our Students

1:30-3:00         Panel Discussion: Historians and Policymakers         

3:45-5:00         Plenary – Observations/Findings/Next Steps




Workshop Attendance—Registration deadline June | Travel Funding deadline June 1

Attendance: ISD can accommodate up to 75 people for the workshop.  Registration will end on June 15.  In the event that more than 75 people apply to attend the workshop, we will accept attendees and presenters on a first come, first served basis.

Workshop Accommodations

Travel and Lodging: Attendees and participants are expected to cover travel expenses to the workshop, lodging, and meals not associated with the workshop. SHAFR is working with the annual conference host hotel to extend the SHAFR rate at the for extra nights for those attending the workshop.

SHAFR will offer a limited number of grants to cover the cost of lodging for graduate student and faculty members of SHAFR lacking resources from their home institutions.  Funding is not available to those who were funded for the last public engagement workshop. Graduate students and faculty requesting lodging coverage must make a request when submitting applications to participate in the workshop.  Graduate students and faculty requesting lodging coverage must make a request when submitting applications to participate in the workshop.

Applications for funding should consist of a

  • one-page c.v.,
  • concise letter from the prospective participant confirming their lack of departmental funding,
  • brief description of their interest in public advocacy

These items should be submitted at the time the member submits an application to attend the workshop. Decisions on funding will be made by a designated SHAFR committee.

SHAFR and ISD thank the SHAFR Council as well as Amy Sayward, whose contributions helped make this funding possible.




Meals: ISD will provide an evening dinner on Tuesday, June 18; and breakfast and lunch on Wednesday, June 19.


Joint Steering Group


Kelly McFarland (Georgetown University, co-chair), Kimber Quinney (Cal State San Marcos, co-chair), Niki Hemmer (University of Virginia, Miller Center), Marc Selverstone (University of Virginia, Miller Center), Mitch Lerner (Ohio State University), Brian Etheridge (Georgia Gwinnett College), Seth Center (Center for Strategic and International Security), Andy Johns (Brigham Young University), and Carly Goodman (American Friends Service Committee).



Contact Kelly McFarland ([email protected]) or Kimber Quinney ([email protected]) with any questions about the workshop.