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Analysing Historical Narratives: On Academic, Popular and Educational Framings of the Past

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Volume 40

Making Sense of History

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Analysing Historical Narratives

On Academic, Popular and Educational Framings of the Past

Edited by Stefan Berger, Nicola Brauch and Chris Lorenz

384 pages, 20 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-80073-046-5 $145.00/£107.00 Hb Not Yet Published (May 2021)

eISBN 978-1-80073-047-2 eBook Not Yet Published

Hb   Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“This is an important and timely volume, which will play a very useful role in reflection on and teaching about history. It wisely forces us to link the scholarly, pedagogical, popular and digital aspects of making history through narrative.” • David Gary Shaw, Wesleyan University

“Truly needed and genuinely topical. There have been very few such empirical studies into concrete historical narratives and across different genres.” • Marek Tamm, Tallinn University


For all of the recent debates over the methods and theoretical underpinnings of the historical profession, scholars and laypeople alike still frequently think of history in terms of storytelling. Accordingly, historians and theorists have devoted much attention to how historical narratives work, illuminating the ways they can bind together events, shape an argument and lend support to ideology. From ancient Greece to modern-day bestsellers, the studies gathered here offer a wide-ranging analysis of the textual strategies used by historians. They show how in spite of the pursuit of truth and objectivity, the ways in which historians tell their stories are inevitably conditioned by their discursive contexts.

Stefan Berger is Professor of Social History and Director of the Institute for Social Movements at Ruhr University Bochum since 2011. He is also Executive Chair of the Foundation History of the Ruhr and Honorary Professor at Cardiff University in the UK.

Nicola Brauch is Professor of History Didactics/History Education for the History Department at Ruhr University Bochum since 2014.

Chris Lorenz is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy of History at VU University of Amsterdam and International Research Associate at the Institute for Social Movements at Ruhr University Bochum since 2016.

Subject: History (General)


List of Illustrations

Narrativity and Historical Writing: Introductory Remarks
Stefan Berger and Chris Lorenz

Part I: Professional History Writing

Chapter 1. Thucydides' Narrative of the Vanquished: Gazing Death and Tensions of Historical Time
Alexandra Lianeri

Chapter 2. History beyond Narration: The Shifting Terrain of Bloodlands
Wulf Kansteiner

Chapter 3. Secularization Narratives in 1950s Europe: Sources, Characteristics, and Effects
Herman Paul

Chapter 4. Narratives of Global History: Expounding Global Interconnections – A Comparison of Donald R. Wright‘s History of Niumi and Giorgio Riello’s History of Cotton
Gabriele Lingelbach

Part II: School Textbooks in History

Chapter 5. A Two-Faced Narrative: Ancient Persia in German Textbooks since 1900
Björn Onken

Chapter 6. Historicizing Present-Day European Societies by Telling Medieval (Hi)story in Schoolbooks
Daniel Wimmer

Chapter 7. Narrative Structure of High School World History Textbooks in Postwar Japan
Naoki Odanaka

Chapter 8. Historical Maps as Narratives: Anchoring the Nation in History Textbooks
Mario Carretero and Everardo Perez-Manjarrez

Part III: Histories in Various Media

Chapter 9. Social Media and Multimodal Historical Representation: Depicting Auschwitz on Instagram
Robbert-Jan Adriaansen

Chapter 10. The Civil Rights Movement (Re)Narrated
Kenan van de Mieroop

Chapter 11. Media Narratives of 1970s Left-Wing Terrorism
Jörg Requate

Chapter 12. Time Travel as Running around in Circles: The Popular Historical Novel and the Sense of Historicity in Today’s Society
Daniel Fulda

Part IV: National Histories

Chapter 13. National Narratives in Chinese Global History Writing
Xupeng Zhang

Chapter 14. Narratives of Brazilian History: From Liberal to Politically Incorrect
Valdei Araujo

Chapter 15. Changing LUK: Nation and Narration in the First and the Third editions of Life in the United Kingdom
Arthur Chapman

Analysing Historical Narratives: Concluding Remarks
Stefan Berger and Chris Lorenz


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