According to Dr. Stephen Vider (Assistant Professor of History at Cornell University), capturing feeling is just as important to public history as transmitting knowledge. Whether collecting an oral history or cultivating a museum exhibit, Dr. Vider emphasizes the ethical responsibility to honor people’s bodily and emotional responses to history. As he tells UH History graduate Timothy Vale (PhD, 2022) in their conversation recorded on May 6, 2022, valuing the full human experience has played a key role in shaping each of his projects. This includes the 2017 exhibition, AIDS at Home: Art and Everyday Activism, at the Museum of the City of New York, which explored how artists and activists have mobilized domestic space during the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Now, as the director of Cornell’s Public History Initiative, Dr. Vider teaches students that doing historical research with the public is more than an intellectual exercise, but a high stakes and even personal endeavor that elicits emotion and contributes to the contemporary world.
Learn more about Dr. Vider: https://history.cornell.edu/stephen-vider
Check out the Public History Initiative at Cornell University: https://phi.history.cornell.edu/
The Center for Public History at the University of Houston. https://uh.edu/class/cph