Negotiating the Nation in History

The Swedish State Approval Scheme for Textbooks and Teaching Aids from 1945 to 1983

in Journal of Educational Media, Memory, and Society
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  • 1 Henrik Åström Elmersjö is a researcher in the Department of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies at Umeå University, Sweden henrik.astrom.elmersjo@umu.se
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Abstract

This article explores the discussions concerning history textbooks that occurred within the Swedish State Approval Scheme for Textbooks (Statens läroboksnämnd) from 1945 to 1983. By focusing on the negotiation of nationhood and the process of textbook approval as an arena for the renegotiation of ways in which history was taught in schools, the article reveals that nationalistic sentiment associated with the historical discipline was challenged by intercultural and materialist discourses during the period under examination. However, much of the debate within the State Approval Scheme for Textbooks indicates that an ethnic nationalist discourse and competing discourses introduced in new syllabi for history education after 1945 tended to converge.