Outside of the classroom, the lecture hall and the archive, what does history matter? In this course, we discuss the presence and absence of history in public concerns, and what purposes a historical education might serve in the world today. From 'history wars' over national identity and historical injustices to political clashes over the symbols that dominate public space, from the omissions of our schoolroom narratives to the mass consumption of historical fiction on the screen and on the page, the past seems everywhere and nowhere. Institutions say they want to learn from it, yet the world faces 'unprecedented' challenges to which it seems history is unable to speak. So how do we speak to the world?