Postmodernism, historical denial, and history education: What Frank Ankersmit can offer to history didactics

 

Parkes, R. J. (2013). Postmodernism, historical denial, and history education: What Frank Ankersmit can offer to history didactics. Nordidactica, 2013:2, 20-37.

image002_0History educators frequently ignore, or engage only reluctantly and cautiously with postmodernism. This is arguably because postmodernism is frequently accused of assaulting the epistemological foundations of history as an academic discipline, fostering a climate of cultural relativism, encouraging the proliferation of revisionist histories, and providing fertile ground for historical denial. In the Philosophy of History discipline, Frank Ankersmit has become one of those scholars most closely associated with ‘postmodern history’. This paper explores Ankersmit’s ‘postmodern’ philosophy of history, particularly his key notion of ‘narrative substances’; what it might do for our approach to a problem such as historical denial; and what possibilities it presents for history didactics.
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