Why History? Reports of the coming death of democracy may be greatly exaggerated, but most thinkers of democracy are well aware of the mounting global evidence that bright hopes for its future are currently fading. Observers are pinning the
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Andrew A. Szarejko
vary. 1 It is relatively common, however, for introductory IR courses to include a segment on international history. After early sessions that familiarise students with basic concepts and perspectives on IR, there are often multiple class sessions that
Telling the Story of History with Henry Rousso and Ivan Jablonka
Situating the Present to Write the Past
… history, as a process of knowing and understanding the world, is not a gratuitous, disinterested activity located outside the time of the person writing…. The historian thinks himself into the history, and the two become contemporary. Henry Rousso
World War II, particularly after the expulsion of non-Polish elements and the removal of the legacies of ethnic minorities from national history ( Mach 2007: 63–65 ). Before Law and Justice imposed its own nationalistic interpretation of history, many
A clash of histories
Encounters of migrant and non-migrant laborers in the Canadian automobile parts industry
This article considers the confrontations between immigrant and non-immigrant workers in the workplace and the implications of these confrontations for workplace unity and class formation. Contributing to scholarship at the intersection of history, class, and migration, the article argues that workers bring to work histories that are constructed as oppositional. The roots of these oppositions lie in shared but different histories of dispossession and migration, masked by dominant cultural and class narratives, which privilege non-immigrant histories that are class-based, masculinist, and nationalist, and subordinate those of immigrants. In the process, neo-liberal agendas are bolstered. Questions of how such processes take place are important for understanding class formation within societies with large immigrant populations.
Olivia Plender has built a gallery-based practice that explores history, often through an archival mining of social and esoteric beliefs that disturb contemporary expectations. This approach is one of illuminating alternative formations and beliefs
Dolling Up History
Fictions of Jewish American Girlhood
The launching of a Jewish American Girl doll in 2009 provides an occasion for exploring the fictions of Jewish American girlhood constructed and consumed in the twenty-first century. Though the Rebecca Rubin doll seemed to herald a progressive version of Jewish American girlhood, Rebecca and the box-set of books that accompany her repackage a nostalgic and triumphalist narrative in which America figures as a benevolent sanctuary and the Holocaust, American anti-Semitism, and the costs of assimilation are elided and smoothed away. This is a narrative we've seen before—most notably in the importing and Americanizing of Anne Frank as an icon of Jewish girlhood, and in Sydney Taylor's beloved All Of A Kind Family series of children's books. These dolled-up versions of history stand in stark contrast to the darker, more complex visions of childhood and history seen in the work of Adrienne Rich, which reminds us to be wary of buying into such nostalgic icons of girlhood.
This article concerns "revision in history," which refers to the process by which existing conceptions about what constitutes good history are challenged and replaced by different approaches. Between roughly 1920 and 1975 there were several periods of historical revision in Great Britain and the United States. My article argues that each was brought about by a combination of dissatisfaction on the part of historians with existing approaches, the influence of ideas from other disciplines, and changes going on in the world at the time.
History Textbooks in Twentieth Century Japan
A Chronological Overview
Despite modernization of the Japanese school system after 1872, this period was marked by the war in East Asia and nationalism focusing on the emperor, whereby the imperial rescript of 1890 defined the core of national education. Following defeat in the Second World War, Japan reformed its education system in accordance with a policy geared towards peace and democracy in line with the United Nations. However, following the peace treaty of 1951 and renewed economic development during the Cold War, the conservative power bloc revised history textbooks in accordance with nationalist ideology. Many teachers, historians and trade unions resisted this tendency, and in 1982 neighboring countries in East Asia protested against the Japanese government for justifying past aggression in history textbooks. As a result, descriptions of wartime misdeeds committed by the Japanese army found their way into textbooks after 1997. Although the ethnocentric history textbook for Japanese secondary schools was published and passed government screening in 2001, there is now a trend towards bilateral or multilateral teaching materials between Japan, South Korea, and China. Two bilateral and one multilateral work have been published so far, which constitute the basis for future trials toward publishing a common textbook.
The Burden of History
The Defeat of Second-Wave Feminism in Greece
The specificity of national histories shapes the priorities, tensions, and character of respective feminist movements. In the case of Greece, several waves of occupation and resistance from the Second World War to the Colonels dictatorship (1967-1974) gave rise to a broad-based and complex women's movement in the 1970s. This paper investigates the main division in the movement between (a) activists who espoused the autonomy of feminist politics in the spirit of Western European and American feminisms and (b) activists who aligned women's liberation with the projects of the Greek socialist and communist left. This article seeks to illuminate the ways in which second-wave feminism was shaped by the legacy of the Second World War when, in popular memory, the notions of freedom, justice, and equality became identified with the Greek left. While the rift enriched the women's movement, deeply entrenched beliefs in feminism as a subdivision of mainstream politics prevailed and ultimately stifled the development of an enduring contemporary feminist political culture in Greece.