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Memory Makers of the Great Patriotic War

Curator Agency and Visitor Participation in Soviet War Museums during Stalinism

Anne E. Hasselmann

Abstract

In the wake of the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, Soviet museum curators began to establish a museal depiction of the war. This article analyzes these early beginnings of Soviet war commemoration and the curtailing of its surprising heterogeneity in late Stalinism. Historical research has largely ignored the impact of Soviet museum workers (muzeishchiki) on the evolution of Russian war memory. Archival material from the Red Army Museum, now renamed the Central Museum of the Armed Forces, in Moscow and the Belarus Museum of the History of the Great Patriotic War in Minsk documents the unfolding of locally specific war exhibitions which stand in stark contrast to the later homogenized official Soviet war narrative. Yet war memory was not created unilaterally by the curators. Visitors also participated in its making, as the museum guestbooks demonstrate. As “sites of commemoration and learning,” early Soviet war exhibitions reveal the agency of the muzeishchiki and the involvement of the visitors in the “small events” of memory creation.

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“Presentism” Versus “Path Dependence”?

Reflections on the Second World War in Russian Textbooks of the 1990s

Serguey Ehrlich

Abstract

In the fifteen Russian textbooks of the 1990s examined in this article, the Second World War is subject to three levels of reflection: language, narrative templates, and the representation of contested events. The language used in the textbooks represents an amalgam of Soviet propagandistic clichés and uncritically adopted Western terminology. These textbooks also retain the same “schematic narrative template” of the Second World War, based on references to the expulsion of foreign enemies, found in Soviet textbooks. Significant transformations can be observed only in the representation of events, in which the authors’ harsh criticism of Stalin's crimes comes to the fore. Yet these superficial changes did not alter the basic structures of history learning, which was one of the main reasons why working through the past during the Yeltsin era almost failed.

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“Russia My History”

A Hi-Tech Version of an Old History Textbook

Olga Konkka

Abstract

This article analyzes the presentation of the Second World War in the multimedia “history parks” of the Russian educational project “Russia My History.” In these exhibition complexes, modern digital technologies offer visitors a “revolutionary” way to discover Russian history. The article first explores the history and conception of the Russia My History project, as a pedagogical tool, a digital museum, a historical narrative, and a response to current memory policies. Next, I focus on the exhibition dedicated to the Second World War (specifically, on its technical, visual, structural, lexical, and historical aspects) and assess the impact of the digitalization and commodification of history on the traditionally rigid official Russian memory of the war. I attempt to show that instead of exploiting digital technologies to develop new approaches to the history of the war, the exhibition neglects the potential of multimedia and provides a narrative close to the one used in Soviet and post-Soviet textbooks.

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Ad Fontes Digitales!?

Margins of Representation When Incorporating Medieval Sources into a German Digital History Textbook

Andreas Willershausen

Abstract

The publication of the first German-language digital history textbook, mBook: History for the Future (mBook: Geschichte für die Zukunft, Cornelsen Verlag, 2016), drew much critical attention. In 2018, the mBook was awarded the prize for best textbook in the “society” category by the Georg Eckert Institute for its focus on improving learner competence. This article begins by assessing the mBook's gradation feature (which allows for the linguistic gradation of sophisticated textual sources on several learning levels) and the textbook authors’ aspiration to convey methodological competence and foster understanding of unfamiliar topics (Fremdverstehen), with the help of work on documents, and an understanding of historical times far removed from our own. It quantitatively and descriptively assesses textual documents in the chapters about the Middle Ages, while focusing on their textual preparation and digital implementation.

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Arabic Grammar Curricula for Primary Schools in Middle Eastern Countries

A Comparative Study

Haifaa Majadly and Aharon Geva-Kleinberger

Abstract

This article analyzes the contents of Arabic grammar curricula authorized for the upper years of primary school by the ministries of education of Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia. The article aims to determine the attitudes and rationales behind these curricula, as well as their objectives, the grammatical materials they cover, the amount of time they allocate to the study of grammar, and their educational and pedagogical approach. Drawing on the results of a comparative analysis, the authors propose developmental alternatives to the current curricula. Arabic language instruction in Hebrew language schools in Israel is not addressed. The results of the study suggest that the examined curricula fail to achieve the functional standards for grammar instruction they set for themselves and to integrate the various domains of linguistic study, and that they suffer from other weaknesses that must be addressed.

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Constructions of Identity in Cameroonian History Textbooks in Relation to the Reunification of Cameroon

Raymond Nkwenti Fru and Johan Wassermann

Abstract

This article explores the representation of identity in selected Anglophone and Francophone Cameroonian history textbooks via their coverage of the reunification of Cameroon. A far-reaching effect of the 1916 Anglo-French partition of German Cameroon and of the reunification of the territory in 1961 is that, in spite of the plurality of precolonial identities, it is the legacies of Anglo-French colonial heritage that seem to be the overwhelming identity indicators in contemporary Cameroon. This content analysis found that the Anglophone history textbook presented a clear Anglophone identity which stood in conflict with the identity promoted by the Francophone textbook, which was characterized by national and colonial Francophone assimilationism. Such representations suggest that the Cameroonian nation state as a colonial geopolitical construct is more imagined than real.

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Migration and Migrants between the Favorable and the Problematic

A Discourse Analysis of Secondary School Turkish History Textbooks from 1966 to 2018

Önder Cetin

Abstract

Migration has significantly shaped the changing demographics of Turkey and the interplay between the self-image of the state and its citizens as elements of nation-building policies, dating back to the late Ottoman period. Although the effects of migration and its representations have been the subject of scholarly studies about collective memory, textbooks have largely been omitted from studies about migration. This article analyzes the topics and discursive strategies used to construct narratives of migration and migrants in secondary-level history textbooks by considering ways in which textbooks construct and transmit collective self-images. Adopting a critical discourse analysis approach, the author demonstrates how topoi are used to present a favorable or problematic image of migration.

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Techno-Entrepreneurship as Identity Construction for the Indonesian Generation Z

Z. Hidayat and Debra Hidayat

Abstract

This article addresses ways in which members of Generation Z construct identity as techno-entrepreneurs by using livestreaming applications. Drawing on quantitative and qualitative assessments of surveys, interviews, documents, and observations, the authors show how visual and verbal conduct based on expressions, interaction, communication, and transactions was used for informal educational purposes by techno-entrepreneurs in their daily lives. On the micro level, members of Gen Z construct self-images as entertainers and businesspeople who need self-recognition and build relationships with viewers. On the meso level, identity emerges via community cohesiveness and a community of talent, and by streaming pop culture. On the macro level, Gen Z follows social and cultural issues and engages in global citizenship while responding to streaming business opportunities. Livestreaming fosters Gen Z's identity construction and shapes the role of influencers in the development of techno-entrepreneurship.

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Textbook Representations of the Economy of East and West Germany at the Time of the Golden Age

Kai Krüger

Abstract

This article examines the presentation of West Germany's “economic miracle” and East Germany's planned economy in school textbooks published between 2014 and 2016. The textbooks tell a success story of the “social market economy” that hardly takes into account the academic research of the last forty years. The results furthermore show that contemporary sources were altered in the process of textbook production in order that they adhere to the German success story. These findings, however, do not only point to conscious ideology production and a lack of knowledge, but also suggest that competition among publishers is an explanatory factor. Multiperspectival and controversial presentations of the economy occur only sporadically. It is therefore questionable to what extent the textbooks benefit historical learning.

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American and British Efforts to Democratize Schoolbooks in Occupied Italy and Germany from 1943 to 1949

Daniela R. P. Weiner

Abstract

During the Allied occupation of the Axis countries, education and the revision of educational materials were seen as a means of ensuring future peace in Europe. Most scholarly literature on this topic has focused on the German case or has engaged in a German-Japanese comparison, neglecting the country in which the textbook revision process was first pioneered: Italy. Drawing primarily on the papers of the Allied occupying military governments, this article explores the parallels between the textbook revision processes in Allied-occupied Italy and Germany. It argues that, for the Allied occupiers involved in reeducation in Italy and Germany, the reeducation processes in these countries were inextricably linked. Furthermore, the institutional learning process that occurred in occupied Italy enabled the more thorough approach later applied in Germany.