This article is an epistemological reflection on memory practices in the construction, deconstruction, and reconstruction of collective memories of a historical event involving collective violence and conflict in formal and informal spaces of education. It focuses on the 1947 British India Partition of Punjab. The article engages with multiple memory practices of Partition carried out through personal narrative, interactions between Indian and Pakistani secondary school pupils, history textbook contents, and their enactment in the classroom by teachers. It sheds light on the complex dynamic between collective memory and history education about events of violent conflict, and explores opportunities for and challenges to intercepting hegemonic remembering of a violent past.
Opportunities and Challenges to Breaching Hegemonic Remembering
On Reproducing, Destabilizing and Interrupting Majority Memories
Johanna Ahlrichs, Katharina Baier, Barbara Christophe, Felicitas Macgilchrist, Patrick Mielke, and Roman Richtera
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.
The Rotterdam Bombardment in Local Memory Culture and Education from 1980 to 2015
This article analyses three local educational projects about the Nazi bombing of Rotterdam in May 1940, all of which took place from 1980 to the present day in the context of the dynamic memory culture of the bombardment. These three contexts testify to a process by which memory, increasingly derived from authentic locations and objects instead of individual memories, is put to use in education. Moreover, increased awareness of the disappearance of eyewitness generations means that young people are becoming key consumers and auxiliary producers of memory.
Emotion Ideologies in Contemporary German Education about the Holocaust
Lisa Jenny Krieg
Based on an ethnographic field study in Cologne, this article discusses the connection between memory practices and emotion ideologies in Holocaust education, using Sara Ahmed’s concept of affective economies. Moral goals, political demands, and educators’ care for their students lead to tensions in the education process. Two case studies illustrate how educators and learners express different, often contradictory concepts of emotion. In these studies, emotions are selectively opposed to rationality. In some contexts, emotions are considered inferior to facts and obstacles to the learning process; in others, they are superior to facts because they can communicate moral messages reliably.
This essay explores social and political values conveyed by nineteenth century world and universal history textbooks in relation to the antebellum era. These textbooks focused on the histories of ancient Greece and Rome rather than on histories of the United States. I argue that after 1830 these textbooks reinforced both the US land reform and the antislavery movement by creating favorable depictions of Tiberius and Caius Gracchus. Tiberius and Caius Gracchus (known as the “Gracchi”) were two Roman tribunes who sought to restore Rome's land laws, which granted public land to propertyless citizens despite opposition from other Roman aristocrats. The textbook authors' portrayal of the Gracchan reforms reflects a populist element in antebellum American education because these narratives suggest that there is a connection between social inequality and the decline of republicanism.
The Franco-Prussian War in French History Textbooks, 1875–1895
In French history textbooks published after France's defeat in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 to 1871, the presentation of the war and its outcome frequently include the myth of France's revanche and depictions of the Prussian enemy as barbarians. Other textbooks presented a narrative of progress in which the French Third Republic is shown as the endpoint of a process of advancing civilization. While the idea of a French revanche can be regarded as a founding myth of the Third Republic, the narrative of progress can be seen as an echo of this myth, cleansed of the concept of the enemy as barbarian, which constitutes a national master narrative.
This article explores history teaching in Albania, with particular emphasis on educational and methodological aspects of new history textbooks published after the liberalization of the school textbook market in 2008. National history textbooks serve as a basis for the assessment of changing educational principles and methodologies in history teaching in terms of five qualitative factors: educational aims, teaching techniques and methodologies, historical narratives, visual materials, and sources. The article thus assesses the degree to which textbooks fulfill their educational function and help to put learning theories into practice. The author also places the revision and reevaluation of national history textbooks in Albania in context by comparing them to the progress of Kosovo's recently established educational system.
zur Geschichte und zum Potenzial eines vergessenen Schulbuchs
Children’s Bibles: The History and Potential of a Forgotten Type of Textbook
Obwohl Kinderbibeln in Familie und Schule über Jahrhunderte eine wichtige Rolle spielten, fanden sie von Seiten der Historischen Bildungsforschung bisher wenig Beachtung. Ein Blick auf die Geschichte der Kinderbibeln im deutschsprachigen Raum und eine exemplarische Analyse von Schweizer Kinderbibeln, die zwischen 1800 und 1850 als Schulbücher verwendet wurden, zeigt allerdings, dass Kinderbibeln nicht nur theologisch oder religionspädagogisch, sondern auch bildungshistorisch gewinnbringend untersucht werden können, indem sich beispielsweise schulgeschichtliche Entwicklungen, konfessionelle Unterschiede oder auch Veränderungen des Kindbildes nachzeichnen lassen.
This article reviews an extensive study of Israeli secondary school general history curricula and textbooks since the establishment of the state in 1948 until the present day. By analyzing the way in which Germany is presented in various contexts, the findings of the study indicate that, while the textbooks reflect a shift from an early censorious attitude to a factual approach, the curriculum continues to present national Jewish Zionism as the metanarrative. In this context, Germany is framed as a victimizer.
This article deals with religious discourse in modern history school textbooks in Ukraine that cover early modern times in Ukrainian history. It analyzes the place of religious discourse within national discourse, the correlation between local Ukrainian religious and more general discourse, and the representation of the relationships between Christian churches. Further, it defines a methodological approach and assesses the accuracy of facts presented in textbooks as well as the interpretation of religious life, normative language, and denominational labeling. It demonstrates the discrepancy between the achievements of academic historiography and school history, including the isolated and exclusive nature of history discourse in Ukrainian schools today.