Teaching the ‘Cold War’

Memory Practices in the Classroom

Friday, November 13, 2015, 3:00 - 5:00pm
Event at the Woodrow Wilson Center, 4th Floor 
Speaker: Barbara Christophe (Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research in Germany)

How do students remember the time of the Cold War? Living in a time of uncertainties, what sense do they ascribe to a period that can be considered the epitome of certainties? How do they appropriate patterns of interpretation offered to them by teachers and in textbooks? How do young people who are constantly exposed to a variety of media influences read textbooks? And how do teachers who were raised and socialized during the Cold War represent this time period in class.

These are some of the key questions Barbara Christophe is dealing with in her talk on a research project she is currently pursuing at the Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research in Germany. First, she will briefly describe the logic of a study that conceptualizes the school as an ideal place to investigate memory practices. Second, she will briefly demonstrate the methodological approaches used by her and an international team. Finally, she will present some first findings from a work in progress.

Prof. Dr. phil. Barbara Christophe studied history and Slavonic studies. She received her PhD from the University of Bremen, Germany, in 1996 and conducted her post-doctoral studies at the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt/Oder, Germany. Her research focuses include transition studies, peace and conflict research, and memory cultures, with a regional focus on the post-Soviet area, Eastern Europe, and Germany. She is currently heading the international research group "Teaching the Cold War - Memory Practices in the Classroom" at the Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research in Braunschweig, Germany.