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Theorizing Historical Consciousness

edited by Peter Seixas

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study & teaching, history & theory, historiography
list price: $93.00
also available: Hardcover Paperback
category: History
published: 2004

Our understanding of the past shapes our sense of the present and the future: this is historical consciousness. While academic history, public history, and the study of collective memory are thriving enterprises, there has been only sparse investigation of historical consciousness itself, in a way that relates it to the policy questions it raises in the present. With Theorizing Historical Consciousness, Peter Seixas has brought together a diverse group of international scholars to address the problem of historical consciousness from the disciplinary perspectives of history, historiography, philosophy, collective memory, psychology, and history education.

Historical consciousness has serious implications for international relations, reparations claims, fiscal initiatives, immigration, and indeed, almost every contentious arena of public policy, collective identity, and personal experience. Current policy debates are laced with mutually incompatible historical analogies, and identity politics generate conflicting historical accounts. Never has the idea of a straightforward 'one history that fits all' been less workable. Theorizing Historical Consciousness sets various theoretical approaches to the study of historical consciousness side-by-side, enabling us to chart the future study of how people understand the past.

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Editorial Review

'I do not hesitate nominating Theorizing Historical Consciousness as the most rewarding book about history education since the early 1990s.'

— J. Cirriculum Studies, 2005, Vol. 37, No. 6
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About the Author

Peter Seixas

Peter Seixas is Canada Research Chair in Historical Consciousness and a professor in the Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy at the University of British Columbia.
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