By Maria Grever, Siep Stuurman
'Beyond the Canon' bargains with contemporary politicized strategies of canonization and its implications for historic tradition in a globalizing and postcolonial international. the amount discusses the framing and transmission of ancient wisdom and its effects for the development of narratives and the educating of historical past in multicultural environments.
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Extra info for Beyond the Canon: History for the Twenty-first Century
It is striking how well written and how popular these memory publications are. Even more striking is the lack of a coherent narrative with a clear chronological order because history is connected to places of memories, from each of which micro-narratives proceed. 32 Precisely this kind of kaleidoscopic eclecticism and the ostensible lack of chronology characterize history education, much to the annoyance of professional historians of the old school. Another latent anxiety concerns the popularity of memory and heritage projects.
Moreover, the meaning of an episode largely depends on the context in which historical writing takes place. The Cold War in Hungarian history obviously meant something else in the 1960s compared to the 1990s. 22 Furthermore, the significance and the meaning of the same episode, such as Imperialism, can be quite different in national narratives. Beyond that, these competing and incompatible national plots have been dominated for a long time by a West European meta-plot of triumph and progress, a fusion of narrative templates, composed of some specific national narratives which made them appear to be factual and universal.
The background assumption seems to be that the transmission of a national historical canon to younger generations will further the enculturation of non-Western migrants and bring about social cohesion. The call for a greater emphasis on national history in the school curriculum is not confined to politicians. 11 They welcome government attention to history education because for decades the subject has been under attack, having to compete with civics and other new subjects. In the Netherlands and elsewhere these views have induced governments to advocate the establishment of a national history canon, a sort of ‘official’ guide to what teachers should teach and students should know about (national) history.
Beyond the Canon: History for the Twenty-first Century by Maria Grever, Siep Stuurman