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.
The Franco-Prussian War in French History Textbooks, 1875–1895
This article analyzes how the fundamental challenge of decolonization has resonated in history textbooks published in France since the 1960s. It therefore contextualizes textbook knowledge within different areas of society and focuses on predominant discourses that influenced history textbooks' (post)colonial representations in the period examined. These discourses encompass the crisis of Western civilization, modernization, republican integration, and the postcolonial politics of memory. The author argues that history textbooks have thus become media, as well as objects of an emerging postcolonial politics of memory that involves intense conflicts over immigration and national identity and challenges France's (post)colonial legacy in general.
French society is pluricultural and multireligious, and Islam is its second largest religion. For this reason, schools have to promote better understanding and greater tolerance among pupils. In this context, the history curriculum and history textbooks serve to de ne knowledge and historical memory. In this article, I will analyze the treatment of Islam and the Muslim world in a sample of French textbooks, and identify some of the bias and stereotypes they still convey. I will also explain how this depiction of Islam and the Muslim world has evolved over the last ten years.
The Algerian War, French Textbooks and How Violence Is Remembered
French history textbooks occupy a pivotal position in the colonial fracture. They impart difficult knowledge about the Algerian War of Independence, knowledge that impacts the relationships between the communities of memory in France today. Textbook analysis has focused on their verbal content and, recently, in the work of Jo McCormack, on corresponding teaching practices. This article highlights graphic design as one layer of visual knowledge production and primarily contributes to the methodology of textbook analysis with an exemplary multimodal analysis. It reveals a hidden narrative about the postcolonial relationship that is not expressed in words.
Debates about little girls' loss of innocence, and the sexualization of girls have become an integral part of media in contemporary culture. Fashion advertising representing young girls and certain types of clothes are specifically prone to generate debates about sexualization. This article looks at the sexualization argument through two sets of fashion editorials, one in a December–January 2011 issue of French Vogue, and another in the December–January 1978 issue of the same magazine. The article exposes the problem of sexualization discourse that relates images to lived experiences of girls even though fashion advertising rarely, if ever, is interested in depicting reality. Sexualization is revealed to be a value statement—the Other of innocence which is set up as the norm. Furthermore, fashion photography is shown to be intertextual; images refer to other fashion photographs. In looking at these issues this article opens up space for discussing the visual and sartorial history of the sexual girl.
1980s, 1990s, and the Present Day
Béchir Oueslati, Marie McAndrew, and Denise Helly
This article examines the evolution of the representation of Islam and Muslim cultures in textbooks in Quebec. Results indicate signicant improvements in the new secondary school history textbooks, both quantitatively (for they contain more information about pillars, key concepts, and relations with Christianity and Judaism) and qualitatively (on account of their depth of coverage, fewer negative views than in the 1980s, and fewer factual errors than in the 1990s). The positive role played by Muslim scientists in preserving old knowledge and enriching is also recognized. However, textbooks still view Islam as a religion of submission, proscriptions, and forced conversion, failing to recognize the diversity within Islam and Muslim cultures.
This article explores attitudes toward boyhood shaped by the traumatic experiences of the First World War. It focuses particularly on the work of the little-known French author, Paul Cazin, and his attempts to commemorate the entirety of “the lost generation” by transcending divisions of religion and secularism that characterized boyhood activities in France before the war. The figure of the “Manneken-Pis” enables him to do this and is particularly suited to the expression of conflicting attitudes toward militarism in boyhood. Cazin’s intellectual program leads to a reading of the famous Manneken-Pis fountain depicting a urinating boy as a religious artifact. A variety of interwar responses to the statue demonstrate the strength of emotion provoked by the figure of the young boy. The fact that these responses have been enshrined in modern cultural and artistic practices suggests the extent to which the experience of the First World War still conditions attitudes toward boyhood.
This article argues that the symbolic borders of Europe and the existence of external Others have been at times more important than Europe's center or its actual physical boundaries, especially during the first decades after the foundation of the European Communities. Analyzing textual and visual sources taken from some ninety French, Italian, and German history textbooks published between 1950 and 2005, the various sequences in which European integration has been constructed are highlighted. Communism, the first external Other, provided the first minimum common denominator for a nascent political Europe. It was not until the end of the Cold War that a projection of a distinct European identity appeared. Nevertheless, the role of new external Other(s) remains important for the evolution of the discourse of a European identity. This article draws attention to the Others, seeking to embed the Others' perspective in narratives of Europe.
British universities are known among the other Bologna countries not to have adjusted fully to the new common three-tier degree structure. Is it the case that British higher educational concerns are different from Continental concerns? A study of recent developments in two British graduate schools of history shows that a three-tier study structure was generalised in British universities 15 years ahead of Bologna as the one-year taught master's degree gained ground. This article argues that there were similar concerns related to massification and to an increasing demand for efficiency and employability in British, French and Norwegian higher education policy. These common concerns have been met by common reform measures in the three countries: a transition from individual and unstructured postgraduate degrees to structured and skill-oriented taught degrees. In contrast to the situation in other European countries, the Bologna Process has not represented a legitimate framework for higher education policy in Britain. However, British universities have proved susceptible both to national policy measures and to foreign university models. If the Bologna Process gradually appears as a strong and unified model, the British universities might not be immune to change.
The Voice of Real Girls
Authentik: Th e voice of real girls—a for-girls-and-by-girls Quebec-based English magazine—has just released its first issue. Th e publication, which is distributed across the province,1 a joint initiative of Maison des Jeunes Bordeax-Cartierville and Laval Liberty Community Learning Centre, is funded in part by Canadian Department of Heritage, Th e Solstice Foundation and Caisse Desjardins de Chomedy. Th e English edition follows in the footsteps of the award winning French language publication—Magazine Authentik—which is now in its third year.2 Th e goal of the magazine is to encourage critical thinking, selfesteem and creative expression among girls between 12 and 17 years of age. Th is youth-based, participatory publication focuses on creating a platform from which girls can work together as agents of change and create something that can have a positive infl uence in their lives and in the lives of other girls. “We all did bits and pieces and we took all the pictures,” said 17 year-old Joanne.