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Contemplating Historical Consciousness: Notes from the Field

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Volume 36

Making Sense of History

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Contemplating Historical Consciousness

Notes from the Field

Edited by Anna Clark and Carla L. Peck

248 pages, 9 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-929-5 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (December 2018)

ISBN  978-1-78920-837-5 $29.95/£23.95 Pb Published (November 2020)

eISBN 978-1-78533-930-1 eBook

Hb Pb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! $29.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“Without any doubt, this expansive volume represents an important contribution to research on historical consciousness. Expert authors, including some new and promising voices, offer a concise overview of the field while developing thought-provoking new ideas.” • Carlos Kölbl, University of Bayreuth

“Clearly written and engaging, Contemplating Historical Consciousness makes new and important contributions to the current conversation on historical consciousness by giving readers a glimpse into the researchers’ thought processes, their conceptual frameworks, the aspirations for their own work, and their hopes for the field.” • Ann Chinnery, Simon Fraser University


The last several decades have witnessed an explosion of new empirical research into representations of the past and the conditions of their production, prompting claims that we have entered a new era in which the past has become more “present” than ever before. Contemplating Historical Consciousness brings together leading historians, ethnographers, and other scholars who give illuminating reflections on the aims, methods, and conceptualization of their own research as well as the successes and failures they have encountered. This rich collective account provides valuable perspectives for current scholars while charting new avenues for future research.

Anna Clark is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow at the Australian Centre for Public History at the University of Technology Sydney. Her latest book, Private Lives, Public History (2016), uses interviews with one hundred Australians to consider the ways personal connections to the past intersect with broader historical narratives and debates.

Carla L. Peck is Professor of Social Studies Education at the University of Alberta, Canada. Her research interests include students’ understandings of democratic concepts, diversity, identity, citizenship and the relationship between students’ ethnic identities and their understandings of history.

Subject: History (General) Theory and Methodology


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List of Illustrations and Tables

Introduction: Historical Consciousness: Theory and Practice
Anna Clark and Carla L. Peck


Chapter 1. Schools, Students, and Community History in Northern Ireland
Alan W. McCully and Keith C. Barton

Chapter 2. “Orientation to the Past”: Some Reflections on Historical Consciousness Research from England
Arthur Chapman

Chapter 3. History Educational Research into Historical Consciousness in Flanders
Karel Van Nieuwenhuyse and Kaat Wils

Chapter 4. Historical Consciousness: A Learning and Teaching Perspective from the Netherlands
Carla van Boxtel

Chapter 5. Historical Consciousness and Representations of National Territories. What the Trump and Berlin Walls Have in Common
Mario Carretero


Chapter 6. Mothers’ Darlings of the South Pacific
Angela Wanhalla

Chapter 7. Looking Back at Canadians and Their Pasts
Peter Seixas

Chapter 8. Private Lives, Public History: Navigating Australian historical consciousness
Anna Clark

Chapter 9. “Chinese and the Pasts”: Exploring Historical Consciousness of Ordinary Chinese—Initial Findings from Chongqing
Na Li

Chapter 10. “They Fought for Our Language”: Historical Narratives and National Identification among Young French Canadians
Stéphane Lévesque and Jocelyn Létourneau


Chapter 11. What is Black Historical Consciousness?
LaGarrett J. King

Chapter 12. ‘There Are Current Lessons from the Holocaust’: Making Meaning from Jewish Histories of the Holocaust
Jordana Silverstein

Chapter 13. The “Realness” of Place in the Spiral of Time: Reflections on Indigenous Historical Consciousness from the Coast Salish Territory
Michael Marker

Chapter 14. Intergenerational Family Memory and Historical Consciousness
Anna Green

Chapter 15. Researching Identity and Historical Consciousness
Carla L. Peck

Epilogue: Why Historical Consciousness?
Maria Grever


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