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.
Henrik Åström Elmersjö and Daniel Lindmark
History as a school subject has been a thorny issue for advocates of peace education at least since the 1880s. Efforts, including the substitution of cultural history for military history, have been made to ensure that history teaching promotes international understanding, not propagates chauvinism. The Norden Associations of Scandinavia, which were involved in textbook revision since 1919, achieved some success by altering contents, but national myths remained central to each country's historical narrative, making it difficult to give history education its desired international orientation.
The words “textbook revision” immediately conjure up certain images. We generally think of conflicts surrounding the contents of textbooks, conflicts which are debated in public and usually have an international dimension. Textbook revision generally refers to books on history, geography and social studies, occasionally also religion or biology. It generally relates to those activities aimed at correcting false or distorted interpretations in school textbooks. In addition, it involves two further aspects: improving the quality of teaching with revised textbooks, and conveying universal norms in addition to knowledge of the subject. History and social studies teaching can thus make an important contribution to peace and human rights education.
The production of models, narratives or ‘visions’ of the 1930s, as with any other periodising, involves processes of selection and rejection, inclusion and exclusion. It is a matter of no small interest that one of the most significant areas of exclusion from such paradigms has been the Empire. This article points to, but hardly constitutes a rectification of, that situation. Rather than any attempt at ‘the big picture’, in its allotted space it offers more in the way of a thumbnail sketch, but one which aims at something like a symptomatic relevance in its juxtaposition of two areas of textual production to give a sense of the ideological and political struggles taking place via the various envisionings and revisionings of imperialism in this period.
Politics of Memory and National Identity
The aftermath of World War II saw the emergence of many new nation-states on the Asian geopolitical map and a simultaneous attempt by these states to claim the agency of nationhood and to create an aura of a homogenous national identity. Textbooks have been the most potent tools used by nations to inject an idea of a national memory - in many instances with utter disregard for fundamental contradictions within the socio-political milieu. In South Asia, political sensitivity towards transmission of the past is reflected in the attempts of these states to revise or rewrite versions which are most consonant with the ideology of dominant players (political parties, religious organizations, ministries of education, publishing houses, NGOs, etc.) concerning the nature of the state and the identity of its citizens. This paper highlights the fundamental fault lines in the project of nation-building in states in South Asia by locating instances of the revision or rewriting of dominant interpretations of the past. By providing an overview of various revisionist exercises in South Asia, an attempt will be made to highlight important issues that are fundamental to the construction of identities in this diverse continent.
New Challenges for Contemporary Textbook Activities
Basabi Khan Banerjee and Georg Stöber
Whereas “classical” textbook revision involved two or more nation-states, this article explores current challenges in this field which are internal or go beyond the level of nation-states: textbook activities after internal wars, the search for a “European textbook,” immigration, international schools, and examinations. All of these challenges touch upon the question of identities which are distinct from “traditional” national identities. The article sketches the respective backgrounds of these current challenges as well as practical aspects that need to be considered. We also question whether solutions can be found by replacing constricted identities with more comprehensive ones.
Anna Cento Bull
The debate and accompanying rhetoric concerning federalism
finally gave way in 2001 to the proposal of concrete – albeit competing
and even mutually incompatible – legislation by the centre
left and the centre right political coalitions.1 The centre left government’s
reform, entitled ‘Revision to Title V of Part II of the Constitution’,
which had already been approved by the Chamber of
Deputies on 26 September 2000 and by the Senate on 17 November
2000, was passed a second time by the Chamber on 28 February
2001, and by the Senate on 8 March 2001, as required by the
Constitution. The law, strongly opposed by the centre right parties,
was subject to a referendum on 7 October 2001, on the basis of
Article 138 of the Constitution.
John V. Nance
Of the fifteen verbal links Wiggins associates with Q1 Hamlet in his catalogue of British Drama, the inclusion of Dido, Queen of Carthage is potentially the most problematic in terms of establishing a 1588–1589 date for the play. This article re-examines the editorial and critical history of the most commonly cited overlap between these two plays – the entirety of ‘Aeneas’s tale to Dido’ – and it provides new evidence that challenges their continued association.
Hungarian Travel Writers in Mexico and the Revision of Western Images
This article provides an overview of nineteenth-century Hungarian travel accounts on Mexico and examines their relationship with Western European and United States travelogues. How did Hungarian travelers relate to images projected by Western accounts? How did their Hungarian/Central European background influence and alter such images? This article shows that the first Hungarian travel writers not only built on but also identified with concepts promoted by "imperial" travelers, calling attention to the power of Western texts in the representation of Mexico. A new wave of travelers at the end of the century tried to break away from the previous discourse and began to call for alternative approaches to Mexico. Based on texts so far unstudied in this context and mostly available in Hungarian only, the analysis offers new insights into the mechanics of travel writing and describes a struggle for a more just depiction of Mexico, a process also influenced by Hungarian self-perception.
Daniela R. P. Weiner
revision would be a fruitful next step. This article addresses the defascistization of textbooks in the broader context of Allied education policy. It draws on research from the files of the American and British military governments to address the following