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The State of Public History and the Power of Place: Chile, Virginia and San Luis Obispo

The third in a series of quarterly lectures will be offered at the History Center Museum on March 6, 2020. Professor Zachary McKiernan, will discuss the current state of public history and provide a brief overview of its origins to the present. He will elaborate on his experiences of applying history to real-world issues in three locales.

“Zach’s talk will help us understand the universality of public history with local case studies memorializing a concentration camp in Chile, recovering the moray of the once-segregated Woolworth’s lunch counter in Hampton, VA and the Central Coast Queer Archives Project here in San Luis Obispo County,” says John Ashbaugh, president of the History Center’s Board of Directors. Professor McKiernan will describe how these respective initiatives challenged official narratives, initiated community conversations about race and civic responsibilities, and in San Luis Obispo, locating historically queer places because of their absence in the present environment.

Trained as a public historian at the University of California, Santa Barbara, McKiernan currently is Professor of World History at Cuesta College. He served on the History Center’s Board of Director in 2017-2019.

The public is invited to this free Carnegie lecture, which will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the History Center.

Who: Professor Zachary McKiernan

What: Carnegie Lecture Series

Where: History Center Museum, 696 Monterey Street San Luis Obispo

When: Friday March 5th. 5:30 pm


The History Center of San Luis Obispo County is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation dedicated to preserving and promoting all of San Luis Obispo County’s history.

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For more information, contact Thomas Kessler, Executive Director, at (805) 543-0638 or email [email protected]


Professor McKiernan (far R) will be presenting the March 2020 Carnegie Lecture

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