To bring together scholars who explain historical phenomena using the methods of the social sciences

Preliminary Programme

Wed 4 April
    8.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30

Thu 5 April
    8.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30

Fri 6 April
    8.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30

Sat 7 April
    8.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30

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Wednesday 4 April 2018 11.00 - 13.00
B-2 - THE01 : Historical Consciousness and Public History: a Contested Nexus?
LAN/OG/074 Lanyon Building
Network: Theory Chair: Stefan Berger
Organizer: Anna ClarkDiscussants: -
Robbert-Jan Adriaansen : The Play-Element of Historical Culture
As the philosophy of history is moving into a ‘postnarrativist stage’ (Kuukkanen 2015; Simon and Kuukkanen 2015), many scholars have shifted attention to presence (Bevernage 2008; Gumbrecht 2003; Runia 2006) and experience (Adriaansen 2015; Ankersmit 2005; Froeyman 2015) to explore modes of relating to the past beyond language. This paper ... (Show more)
As the philosophy of history is moving into a ‘postnarrativist stage’ (Kuukkanen 2015; Simon and Kuukkanen 2015), many scholars have shifted attention to presence (Bevernage 2008; Gumbrecht 2003; Runia 2006) and experience (Adriaansen 2015; Ankersmit 2005; Froeyman 2015) to explore modes of relating to the past beyond language. This paper aims to contribute to these debates about historical ontology by exploring ‘play’ (Caillois 2001; Huizinga 1949; Gadamer 2004) as a constitutive element of historical culture. Famously defined by Johan Huizinga as a free activity that takes place outside the routines of daily life and absorbs the player at the same time, play has found its way into hermeneutics exactly because its immersiveness eludes Cartesian dualism.
It is said that play plays itself (Heidegger 2001): although it reflects or symbolically re-enacts (historical) reality, it goes beyond representation for it does not stand for reality as an object to be comprehended, as the re-enacted behaviour is at once the behaviour of the player and that of the referenced reality. Play is thus both signifier and signified and the player is both subject and object of his playing (Anchor 1978).
In this paper I will explore the play-element of historical culture in reference to historical re-enactments. Although historical re-enactments are a popular part of historical culture, scholars tend to regard them as rather poor examples of historical representation (De Groot 2011). Highlighting the play-element of historical re-enactments will show that they function as historical simulations – operationalized models of historical reality and of the behaviour of historical actors – rather than mere representations (Show less)

Mario Carretero : How to Teach Trump’s Wall? Historical consciousness and representations of national territories
This chapter deals with a specific issue of historical consciousness not much considered by present research on history education. In this chapter I explore how national territories are usually represented by historical maps and how this could favor a lack of differentiation between past and present. Thus Mr. Trump´s ideas ... (Show more)
This chapter deals with a specific issue of historical consciousness not much considered by present research on history education. In this chapter I explore how national territories are usually represented by historical maps and how this could favor a lack of differentiation between past and present. Thus Mr. Trump´s ideas about immigration, national borders, and the construction of a wall provides an excellent exemplar for understanding how national borders could be simplified and misunderstood. Also, a number of educational implications are developed in order to promote a disciplinary comprehension of national borders and historical spaces in general. (Show less)

Anna Clark : Intersections of Historical Consciousness: History, Historical Thinking and 'Ordinary Australians'
This paper reflects on a recent research project into historical consciousness in Australia that was motivated by historical paradox: despite growing public debates about Australian history in the media and in politics, the voices of ‘ordinary people’ are notably absent from that public discourse. We know that historical interest in ... (Show more)
This paper reflects on a recent research project into historical consciousness in Australia that was motivated by historical paradox: despite growing public debates about Australian history in the media and in politics, the voices of ‘ordinary people’ are notably absent from that public discourse. We know that historical interest in Australia is booming: there are tens of thousands of local history groups and museums, as well as genealogical societies and family history groups, heritage tours, reading groups, and a widespread consumption of historical fiction, film and television programs. But to what extent do those intimate pasts intersect with broader historical questions and debates? The Private Lives, Public History project mapped the voices of ‘ordinary people’ alongside public debates and discourses, contemplating themes of historical engagement and inheritance, as well as commemoration, historical contestation and place. (Show less)

Maria Grever : The Reality of Fake History and How to Respond: Using Popular Genres to Enhance Critical Historical Consciousness
How big a problem is fake history? Is fact checking the best answer? Scholars such as David Lowenthal have sharply criticized the heritagization of society, the overemphasis on experience by museums and the set-up of historical entertainment by the tourist industry. Commercialisation and politicization may indeed lead to fake history, ... (Show more)
How big a problem is fake history? Is fact checking the best answer? Scholars such as David Lowenthal have sharply criticized the heritagization of society, the overemphasis on experience by museums and the set-up of historical entertainment by the tourist industry. Commercialisation and politicization may indeed lead to fake history, to distort the past, to fabricate - in Trumpian rhetoric - "alternative facts". These critiques, however, ignore at least two issues. First of all, popular genres can provide a new powerful view on the past, making people aware of "what actually happened". Without the film Killing Fields the Cambodian genocide would have been hardly known among the general public. Secondly, studying popular uses of the past has become a vast and fascinating field of research, often labelled as public history. Characteristic of this field is its meta-perspective on the processing of the past by a large audience. How, for instance, young people from different countries discuss on internet-fora the historical contexts of a war video game.
This paper focuses on the opportunities of popular genres to enhance historical consciousness. After presenting an operationalization of historical consciousness, including its capacity for critical historical reflection and engagement, I will discuss some examples of our current research at Erasmus University Rotterdam. (Show less)