Telling Untold Histories will take place on

Thursday, May 11 at Rutgers University-Newark


You have questions. We [probably] have answers for you. If your question isn’t answered here, please contact us.

What is an unconference?

An unconference is a participant-driven, discussion-based conference. At an unconference, the agenda is created by the attendees at the beginning of the meeting. Unconferences typically feature open discussions rather than having a single speaker at the front of the room giving a talk. This form of conference is particularly useful for a topic like Telling Untold Histories because it provides opportunities for problem solving and encourages collaboration.

Who should attend?

Museum professionals and public history practitioners from organizations of all sizes, librarians, public history educators, volunteers, students and emerging professionals from the greater Philadelphia region and New Jersey are all welcome. Unconferences work best when attendees have knowledge and experience to share, but expertise is not necessary—or even desired. Unconferences bring people together around common problems and provide opportunities for participants to seek fresh ideas from diverse perspectives.

When and where is this taking place?

More details coming soon!

How do I register?

Registration coming soon!

What is included in the cost?

Your registration fees cover the unconference itself, morning coffee/light breakfast, and lunch.

What should I bring with me?

We suggest bringing a laptop or tablet since unconference session notes will be kept using Google Documents. If you bring a tablet, please install the free Google Drive app (available through the iTunes Store or Google Play).

How do I propose a session?

There are several ways to propose a session:

    • In advance of the conference. We will begin accepting pre-unconference proposals soon!
    • The day of the conference. You’ll be provided with “propose a session” slip when you check in on the day of the conference. Write your idea there and hand it to the organizers.
  • Last minute on the day of the conference. Stand up and tell us your idea during the morning scheduling session. It’s that easy.

If you propose a session, you should be prepared to facilitate it. However, that does not mean you will be expected to lecture or present on the subject. Instead, your job will be to get the conversation going, perhaps provide background information, and encourage participation from the rest of the group.

During the morning of the unconference—after all the proposals are in, participants will vote using stickers on which sessions to hold. In order to maximize time and facilitate creative synergy, organizers may combine or adjust some of the proposals. The number of sessions will depend on the number of people in attendance.

Are there any ground rules?

Yes. Read on.

    • Anyone can introduce a discussion topic for a session.
    • Every session should be productive – every session should engage challenges in Telling Untold Histories. Each session should appoint a note taker to post resources and ideas that come out of the discussion in a live Google document. Each room will have WiFi to facilitate note taking and web research.
    • Everyone should participate and contribute. Unconferences are democratic in their structure. There are no experts or underlings. Everyone learns and solves problems together.
    • Be guided by the “law of two feet.” If the session isn’t what you thought it would be, or if you want to check out another, get up and go. You are always free to move between sessions.