The David Dean Public History Fund will support the internationalization of student experiences and professionalization. David’s support, mentorship, and promotion of student research and learning is reflected in the enduring affection and respect that his students hold for him even decades after working with him as a supervisor, instructor, examiner, or advisor. At the same time, David is a founding figure for the International Federation of Public History and in making a globally-recognized and celebrated contribution to the field’s growth, David has always told Carleton’s story, and especially that of its students. David has been the central figure in growing public history at Carleton to becoming both a national and international model for training students, innovating practice, and remaining steadfast in its ethical commitments. This fund will therefore represent David’s legacy at Carleton, in Ottawa, and also across the globe.
This fund will support current students travelling either outside of Canada or within Canada for purposes of research and professionalization. It is very much about the future of the past, about the next generations of public historians who, like David Dean, strive to enrich the communities within which and often for which they do their work. It will make possible unique learning experiences for Carleton students to bring home and apply to problems and opportunities in the Ottawa Capital Region and the country more broadly. In doing so, this fund will also support the establishment of stronger relationships across national boundaries, connecting the local work of Carleton students to the best practices, organizations, and professional networks around the world.
The funds will be used primarily to cover costs for students undertaking international travel whether from Carleton to outside of Canada. As a critical node in the International Federation of Public History and also an institutional partner with the National Council of Public History in the United States, this international travel is a core dimension of student experience and training.
Under David’s leadership, the internationalization of public history within universities has been a remarkable area of growth considering the neoliberal assault on the humanities across the globe. What is unique about this growth, as well, has been that as university students and faculty have formed a new scholarly community they have also been joined by a wide range of non-academic individuals and organizations as well. This sense of professional belonging and identification has been vital to nurturing the ethical commitments of public history as a field that produces scholarly knowledge but does so primarily to serve the needs and desires of others.
David’s own example in such things as Capital History is the kind of public-facing and enduring work that public history is committed to making, that is at once local and global in terms of its impact. Local, in that affects the well-being of the people most closely identified with a project but also global, in that it becomes a model and inspiration for public historians across national boundaries.