(Re)Constructing Memory

School Textbooks and the Imagination of the Nation

  • James H. Williams

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
    1. James H. Williams
      Pages 1-9
  2. Shoring up the State

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 11-11
    2. Shoko Yamada
      Pages 35-59
    3. Caroline Dolive
      Pages 79-102
    4. Iveta Silova, Michael Mead Yaqub, Garine Palandjian
      Pages 103-128
  3. (Re)Imagining the Nation after War

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 129-129
    2. Michelle J. Bellino
      Pages 131-151
    3. Federick J. Ngo
      Pages 153-169
    4. Esther Yogev
      Pages 171-189
    5. Lisa Y. Faden
      Pages 191-218
  4. (Re)Constructing the Nation

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 219-219
    2. Michael Mead Yaqub
      Pages 221-246
    3. Garine Palandjian
      Pages 247-267
    4. Christine Beresniova
      Pages 269-292
    5. Karina V. Korostelina
      Pages 293-310
  5. Reflections and Conclusions

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 311-311
    2. William C. Brehm
      Pages 319-325
    3. James H. Williams
      Pages 327-335
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 337-343

About this book


This book examines the shifting portrayal of the nation in school textbooks in 14 countries during periods of rapid political, social, and economic change. Drawing on a range of analytic strategies, the authors examine history and civics textbooks, and the teaching of such texts, along with other prominent curricular materials—children’s readers, a required text penned by the head of state, a holocaust curriculum, etc.. The authors analyze the uses of history and pedagogy in building, reinforcing and/or redefining the nation and state especially in the light of challenges to its legitimacy. The primary focus is on countries in developing or transitional contexts. Issues include the teaching of democratic civics in a multiethnic state with little history of democratic governance; shifts in teaching about the Khmer Rouge in post-conflict Cambodia; children’s readers used to define national space in former republics of the Soviet Union; the development of Holocaust education in a context where citizens were both victims and perpetuators of violence; the creation of a national past in Turkmenistan; and so forth. The case studies are supplemented by commentary, an introduction and conclusion.


Holocaust education multiethnic state school textbooks

Editors and affiliations

  • James H. Williams
    • 1
  1. 1.The George Washington UniversityWashington D.CUSA

Bibliographic information