Textbooks and Public History

« Textbooks and Public History »

Directrice: Rachel Hutchins

Description: The proposed project would aim to study history curricula and textbooks throughout the English-speaking world, examining trends on both national and international levels. This approach would shed light on the movements and exchanges of historiography and ideologies across time and space. Curricula and textbooks would be analyzed as public history, that is, ascertaining the ways in which popular perceptions of history and public demands (including, but not limited to, citizen groups, elected officials, teachers’ associations…) impact what is taught, in relation to academic historiography. This project could draw on IDEA’s previous work on nationalism, power, and authority, notably in its potential for examining uses of the past and historicity.

Precise research questions would be determined by the project organizers in meetings to be held late 2012/early 2013.

Period: 2012-2017 (and beyond?)

Goals & Output: This theme would seek to establish IDEA as a distinguished center for research on history textbooks in the English-speaking world.

Specific publication goals remain to be determined.

Potential partners & Funding possibilities: If this project is approved by IDEA, we will approach such potential partners in France as the Inspection Générale de l’Education Nationale, especially in relation to the “sections internationales”, and the Comité de vigilance face aux usages publics de l’histoire. We would also seek partners in Europe and worldwide (such as the Georg Eckert Institut for the study of textbooks, based in Braunschweig, Germany).