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Teaching the ‘Cold War’ – Memory Practices in the Classroom

How do students remember the time of the Cold War? Living in a time of uncertainties, what sense do they ascribe to a period that can be considered the epitome of certainties? How do they appropriate patterns of interpretation offered to them by teachers and in textbooks? How do young people who are constantly exposed to a variety of media influences read textbooks? And how do teachers who were raised and socialized during the Cold War represent this time period in class?

Date & Time

Friday
Nov. 13, 2015
3:00pm – 5:00pm ET

Location

4th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center
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Overview

How do students remember the time of the Cold War? Living in a time of uncertainties, what sense do they ascribe to a period that can be considered the epitome of certainties? How do they appropriate patterns of interpretation offered to them by teachers and in textbooks? How do young people who are constantly exposed to a variety of media influences read textbooks? And how do teachers who were raised and socialized during the Cold War represent this time period in class.

These are some of the key questions Barbara Christophe is dealing with in her talk on a research project she is currently pursuing at the Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research in Germany.  First, she will briefly describe the logic of a study that conceptualizes the school as an ideal place to investigate memory practices. Second, she will briefly demonstrate the methodological approaches used by her and an international team. Finally, she will present some first findings from a work in progress.

Prof. Dr. phil. Barbara Christophe studied history and Slavonic studies. She received her PhD from the University of Bremen, Germany, in 1996 and conducted her post-doctoral studies at the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt/Oder, Germany. Her research focuses include transition studies, peace and conflict research, and memory cultures, with a regional focus on the post-Soviet area, Eastern Europe, and Germany. She is currently heading the international research group "Teaching the Cold War - Memory Practices in the Classroom" at the Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research in Braunschweig, Germany.

This event is co-sponsored with the German Historical Institute Washington

Hosted By

Cold War International History Project

The Cold War International History Project supports the full and prompt release of historical materials by governments on all sides of the Cold War. Through an award winning Digital Archive, the Project allows scholars, journalists, students, and the interested public to reassess the Cold War and its many contemporary legacies. It is part of the Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program.  Read more

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