We are excited to launch the first paper in our Historical Dialogues, Justice and Memory Network Working Paper (WP) Series. This new series features unpublished texts by emerging scholars, practitioners and others on issues of historical dialogue, historical and transitional justice, and public and social memory. It offers an opportunity for emerging scholars and practitioners who wish to workshop their papers within an intellectual community.
For each paper in the series, we enlist one or more discussants to provide feedback for revision. All discussants review submissions anonymously. In addition, we invite you, the members and followers of the Historical Dialogues, Justice and Memory Network, to add your own comments and questions!
The first paper of our series is authored by Michelle Bellino, one of our series co-editors and a doctoral candidate at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. The discussant is Peter Seixas, a professor in Curriculum & Pedagogy at the University of British Columbia.
If you would like to participate in our series, do send questions and submissions to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are looking forward to the dialogue!
-Series Co-Editors Michelle Bellino and Cathlin Goulding
This is one of the theoretical framing chapters of Michelle Bellino’s dissertation, which focuses on historical consciousness and civic development of Guatemala’s postwar generation youth. In this chapter, the author draws from several bodies of literature ranging from history education and historical consciousness, civic education and civic development, and peace education and transitional justice. She first theorizes a range of approaches and social purposes for teaching the past and then explores how these methods and objectives have been applied to teaching about historical injustice in states emerging from mass conflict. Throughout, she tends to the way these approaches intersect with civic education and goals for democratic citizenship, building toward the theoretical lens of historical consciousness, a meta-construct that captures the potential for civic empowerment coursing between constructions of the past, present, and future. The paper closes with a discussion of authoritarian legacies as they manifest in young people’s construction of the violent past, at times inspiring and other times interrupting the relationship they forge between historical and civic agency.
Michelle Bellino is a doctoral student studying Culture, Communities, and Education at Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her research centers on the intersection of historical consciousness and civic development of youth in the aftermath of intergroup conflict, as well as the role of human rights and history education as intergenerational mechanisms of transitional justice. Trained as a cultural anthropologist, she has been exploring these issues through ethnographic fieldwork in Guatemala. Her work has been featured in Anthropology and Humanism; International Journal of History Teaching, Learning, and Research; International Journal of Social Education; and several collections on human rights and history education. For her doctoral research, she has been selected as a Peace Scholar by the United States Institute of Peace, and designated a John H. Coatsworth Fellow by Harvard University.
Dr. Peter Seixas taught social studies in Vancouver schools for fifteen years before coming to the University of British Columbia. Currently, in addition to teaching in the graduate and undergraduate programs, his major activities stem from his role as the founding Director of the Centre for the Study of Historical Consciousness. Dr. Seixas’ research investigates young people’s historical consciousness, the relationships among disciplinary and extra-disciplinary approaches to thinking about the past, the education and professional development of history teachers, history curriculum and instruction, and school-university collaboration.
And to all members of our community, please do add your comments and questions on Michelle’s paper in the comments question below! Thanks to Dr. Seixas for his comments and to all who contribute to the conversation.