Memory Practices in the Classroom

On Reproducing, Destabilizing and Interrupting Majority Memories

in Journal of Educational Media, Memory, and Society
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  • 1 Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research
  • 2 Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research
  • 3 Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research
  • 4 Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research
  • 5 Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research
  • 6 Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research
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This article draws on memory studies and media studies to explore how memory practices unfold in schools today. It explores history education as a media- saturated cultural site in which particular social orderings and categorizations emerge as commonsensical and others are contested. Describing vignettes from ethnographic fieldwork in German secondary schools, this article identifies different memory practices as a nexus of pupils, teachers, blackboards, pens, textbooks, and online videos that enacts what counts as worth remembering today: reproduction; destabilization without explicit contestation; and interruption. Exploring mediated memory practices thus highlights an array of (often unintended) ways of making the past present.