Theorizing Historical Consciousness
Published: April 2006© 2004
Imprint: University of Toronto Press
Page Count: 240 Pages
Dimensions: 5.90 x 8.90
240 Pages, 5.90 x 8.90 x 0.80 in
Our understanding of the past shapes our sense of the present and the future: this is historical consciousness. While academic history, public history, and the study of collective memory are thriving enterprises, there has been only sparse investigation of historical consciousness itself, in a way that relates it to the policy questions it raises in the present. With Theorizing Historical Consciousness, Peter Seixas has brought together a diverse group of international scholars to address the problem of historical consciousness from the disciplinary perspectives of history, historiography, philosophy, collective memory, psychology, and history education.
Historical consciousness has serious implications for international relations, reparations claims, fiscal initiatives, immigration, and indeed, almost every contentious arena of public policy, collective identity, and personal experience. Current policy debates are laced with mutually incompatible historical analogies, and identity politics generate conflicting historical accounts. Never has the idea of a straightforward 'one history that fits all' been less workable. Theorizing Historical Consciousness sets various theoretical approaches to the study of historical consciousness side-by-side, enabling us to chart the future study of how people understand the past.
- Peter Seixas: Introduction.
I. Historiographies and Historical Consciousness.
- Chris Lorenz, Professor of Philosophy and Medothology of History, Leiden University and Free University of Amsterdam. 'Towards A Theoretical Framework For Comparing Historiographies: Some Preliminary Considerations'
- James Wertsch, Department of Education, Washington University, St. Louis. 'Specific Narratives and Schematic Narrative Templates'
- Jörn Riisen, Institute for the Advanced Studies of the Humanitiies, Essex. 'What Is Historical Consciousness? A Theoretical Approach To Empirical Evidence'
- Mark Phillips, Department of History, Universtiy of British Columbia. 'Historical Distance: An Introduction'
II. History Education and Historical Consciousness
- Jocelyn Létourneau and Sabrina Moisan, Department of History, Laval University, Quebec. 'Young People's Assimilation of a Collective Historical Memory'
- Peter Lee, University of London Institute of Education. 'Understanding History'
- Christian Laville. 'Historical Consciousness and History Education: What To Expect from the First for the Second'
- Roger Simon, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. 'The Pedagogical Insistence of Public Memory'
- Kent den Heyer (ed.). 'A Dialogue on Narrative and Historical Consciousness'
III. The Politics of Memory and History Education
- Tony Taylor, Faculty of Education, Monash University, Victoria, Australia. 'Disputed Territory: Some Political Contexts for the Development of Australian Historical Consciousness'
- John Torpey, Departments of Sociology and History, University of British Columbia. 'The Pursuit of the Past: A Polemical Perspective'
'I do not hesitate nominating Theorizing Historical Consciousness as the most rewarding book about history education since the early 1990s.'Sirkka Ahonen, J. Cirriculum Studies, 2005, Vol. 37, No. 6