Rethinking Presentism in History Education

21st April, 6-7.30pm BST, Via Zoom

Dr Lindsay Gibson, University of Brtish Columbia, and Dr James Miles, Teachers’ College, Columbia University.

Since the early 2000s, use of the term presentism has rapidly increased in both the historical discipline and public discussions of history. Most recently, the pulling down and defacement of statues in countries around the world inspired by the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests prompted countless articles, discussions, and debates about presentism. The description of presentism featured in many of these discussions reveal a lack of clarity and fundamental understanding about presentism’s complex nature. Given the epistemological importance of presentism to the historical discipline, and its increased prevalence in academic, political, and cultural discourses, we think presentism warrants further attention from history educators. Our presentation aims to rethink the place of presentism in history education by outlining the definitions and common types of presentism identified by historians, examining key arguments for and against presentism, and analyzing how presentism has been approached in history education. We conclude by making the case for rethinking presentism as a necessary and potentially productive concept for history education.

Zoom seminar. All welcome. To register, please go to this link.

This entry was posted in Seminars. Bookmark the permalink.