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Teaching the Violent Past: ONLINE BOOK COMPANION

Teaching the Violent Past

Teaching the Violent Past


This online companion to Teaching the Violent Past: History Education and Reconciliation (Rowman & Littlefield, September 2007) provides a general overview of the edited volume that is based on a five-year international project sponsored by the Carnegie Council. The book and the resources presented here look at how a society deals with its violent past and issues related to the process of reconciliation and the teaching of history in schools.

Using nine case studies, Teaching the Violent Past examines the relationship between how history is taught and the slow process of reconciliation between former enemies in post-Soviet Russia, Northern Ireland, North and South Korea, Canada, Pakistan and India, Japan, Spain, Guatemala, and Germany. The contributors explore the meaning of reconciliation for each of their distinct conflicts. They then examine history textbooks, the politics of post-conflict high school history education, and the teaching of difficult events in a nation's past such as civil and international wars, genocide, and mistreatment of indigenous peoples. The chapter authors are scholars in the fields of political science, history, sociology, human rights, education, and international relations.

Since history education is an important and pervasive factor in the formation of civic identity, how histories of violent conflict are taught and balanced with the need for positive narratives should be a central issue not only for educators but also for those concerned with transitional justice and peace building. Moreover, history education is an important addition to the diplomatic, political, and legal aspects of political reconciliation.

The need to better understand the concept of reconciliation calls for more studies on how history education can foster new relationships with former enemies and new understandings of historical identities. The edited volume and this online companion are intended to meet this need.

The Book: Teaching the Violent Past
Table of Contents
This is a general table of contents for Teaching the Violent Past.
Expanded Table of Contents
The expanded table of contents includes an outline and summary for each chapter.
Introduction by Elizabeth A. Cole, Editor
Download and read the complete Introduction to Teaching the Violent Past.
Related People: Elizabeth A. Cole
Afterword by Audrey R. Chapman
A PDF of the Afterword by Audrey R. Chapman can be found here.
About the Editor and Contributors
This section presents short biographical notes on the volume editor and chapter authors.
Related Online Material
Questions for Further Discussion
These discussion questions, to be used with Teaching the Violent Past, are designed to help generate discussion and to help supplement the reader's understanding.
Material for Further Research
This list of books, journal articles, Council resources, and websites is a useful starting point for those wishing to do further research on some of the various topics presented in Teaching the Violent Past.
Comments and Reviews

"For anyone interested in transitional justice, national reconstruction after mass violence, or multicultural politics, Teaching the Violent Past is a source of insight and wisdom, grounded in compelling case studies of the struggles over teaching history in Germany, Japan, Canada, Spain, Northern Ireland, and Guatemala. It includes probing chapters examining ongoing debates over how Russia, North and South Korea, India and Pakistan should teach their young about the past so that neither national pride nor psychic wounds ends up fueling new violent conflicts. This book offers vital examples of efforts to engage students in critical confrontations with the complexity of the past."
Harvard Law School

"Can high school history texts 'facilitate nonviolent coexistence among people divided by the memory of pain and death'? These case studies from ten countries are rich in hopeful, cautious, mixed answers. High school history teachers should take courage from this book, for theirs is a mission not often publicly celebrated: their part in the healing of the wounds in our body politic. No country should boast that it has no such wounds."
President Emeritus, Union Theological Seminary

"Cole provides an indispensable set of readings for anyone interested in learning how teaching history in the schools relates to healing after violence. Through their gathered chapters, the authors show how any nation's future relates to what the next generation learns about its past. Cole's collection offers a powerful synthesis of multi-national points of view, which, taken together, show how schools can reshape collective national identities and influence reconciliation."
University of California at Berkeley

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