Keynote Speaker

Keynote Speaker Marla MIller

Marla Miller

"Bending the Future: Thinking Forward about Public History, Pedagogy, and Public Life"


Marla Miller, Professor of History at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and President of the National Council on Public History will give a lecture on contemporary issues in the field of public history.  An expert on Historic Preservation and the history of the National Parks, Miller's thinking draws upon the work of preservation professionals, historians, writers, activists, architects, and urbanists.  Public historians across the nation--and in Bozeman--deal with the questions of how preservation contributes to the financial, environmental, social & cultural well-being of communities.  Thinking forward asks the question, how can preservation and public history be a tool for achieving a more just society and world?


The Public History Conference

"Strengthening the Ties That Bind: Public History in Montana” will be held at Montana State University on March 4-5, 2019. The conference will bring together public history practitioners, faculty, and students from around the region for two days of stimulating discussion about the current state and future promise of Public History in Montana.

We are eager to use a slightly unusual format for this conference.  Apart from Dr. Marla Miller’s keynote address, "Bending the Future: Thinking Forward about Public History, Pedagogy, and Public Life" on Monday night, the conference will be based on discussion among all the participants.  We’ve organized eight session on topics relevant to current practices in public history and have arranged for co-moderators from “the field” and from MSU.  We will be posting discussion questions here on the website for people to think about issues in advance.  What we want is for a rich discussion grounded in people’s practical as well as academic knowledge.  Graduate students will act as “scribes” for the sessions and we’ll post reports on our discussion on the website after the conference.

On Monday afternoon we’ll have an informal session about the skills needed to be an effective public historian.  The MSU Department of History & Philosophy is in the process of developing a formal program in Public History, and we are eager to hear from practitioners what all of you consider crucial to the success of doing public history.

We look forward to seeing you in March.

Conference Registration

Online registration for the conference is now closed. Last-minute registrations will take place Tuesday, March 5th from 7:30 - 8:30am in the MSU SUB outside of the ballrooms. Only cash or check will be accepted as payment.

Conference Schedule 

The conference schedule can be found on the "conference program" webpage.

Conference Hotel

The Public History Conference has partnered with the Hampton Inn Bozeman to provide lodging for conference attendees at an affordable rate of $99 per night plus tax. This rate will only be available until February 18, 2019, so make a reservation soon. Attendees can book lodging by contacting the Hampton Inn by phone at 406-522-8000 or online with this link: When booking lodging, be sure to use the group code: PHC.

Hotel: Hampton Inn Bozeman

Group Name: Public History Conference

Arrival Date: 04-Mar-2019

Departure Date: 06-Mar-2019

Federal and Montana State employees may be able to find more affordable lodging rates using state and federal discounts at any hotel located within the Bozeman area. Visit our "Local Amenities and Attractions" page a list of additional hotels in Bozeman, MT.


There is no free parking on the Montana State University campus. All parked vehicles must have a permit. Conference attendees are encouraged to park in the parking garage located near the intersection of 7th Avenue and Grant Street. It is close to the Student Union Building where the conference will be held. The parking garage has an automated prepay system located near the stairwells. The current rate for the garage is 10.00 dollars per day. For more information on parking, please visit the Parking Services webpage.


The sponsors that made the Public History Conference possible include:

  • The Ivan Doig Center for the Study of the Lands & Peoples of the North American West
  • Humanities Montana
  • MSU Department of History & Philosophy
  • Montana History Foundation
  • Museum of the Rockies
  • Gallatin History Museum
  • MSU Humanities Institute
  • History Graduate Student Association at MSU
  • Extreme History Project

 Sponsor Logos for 2019