The past few years, the field of applied history has witnessed the publication of several manifestoes, the establishment of dedicated research centers, and the foundation of an academic journal. Conceptual discussions about the notion of applied history and the very fact that the methods and techniques of applied history are now part of the discipline of history provide further evidence of the field’s maturity. By offering an historiographical overview tracing the roots of applied history, this article will show that both discussions about the contemporary relevance and application of historical thinking, and the actual application of history to current events, possess a long history: applied history has been part and parcel of history writing since ancient times. Moreover, the article offers a discussion of recent debates about the concept and methods of applied history and concludes by mapping the trends that are shaping its current development.
- applied history – historical culture – historiography – conceptual history – public history