Patriotic History and the (Re)Nationalization of Memory
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This book charts and traces state-mandated or state-encouraged “patriotic” histories that have recently emerged in many places around the globe.
Such “patriotic” histories can revolve around both affirmative interpretations of the past and celebration of national achievements. They can also entail explicitly denialist stances against acknowledging responsibility for past atrocities, even to the extent of celebrating perpetrators. Whereas in some cases “patriotic” history takes the shape of a coherent doctrine, in others they remain limited to loosely connected narratives. By combining nationalist and narcissist narratives, and by disregarding or distorting historical evidence, “patriotic” history promotes mythified, monumental, and moralistic interpretations of the past that posit partisan and authoritarian essentialisms and exceptionalisms. Whereas the global debates in interdisciplinary memory studies revolve around concepts like cosmopolitan, global, multidirectional, relational, transcultural, and transnational memory, to mention but a few, the actual socio-political uses of history remain strikingly nation-centred and one-dimensional. This volume collects fifteen caste studies of such “nationalizations of history” ranging from China to the Baltic states. They highlight three features of this phenomenon: the ruthlessness of methods applied by many state authorities to impose certain interpretations of the past, the increasing discrepancy between professional and political approaches to collective memory, and the new “post-truth” context.
This book will be of interest to students and researchers of international politics, the radical right and global history. It was originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Genocide Research.
Table of Contents
Kornelia Kończal and A. Dirk Moses
Introduction - Patriotic Histories in Global Perspective
Kornelia Kończal and A. Dirk Moses
1. Smothering Diversity: Patriotism in China’s School Curriculum under Xi Jinping
2. History as Patriotism: Lessons from India
3. New Turkey: Regional Aspiration and National Anxiety
4. Israeli Memory: From a Moment of Retrospection to Regulating the Past
5. "The Only Possible Ideology": Nationalizing History in Putin’s Russia
6. Holodomor and the Holocaust in Ukraine as Cultural Memory: Comparison, Competition, Interaction
7. Renationalizing Memory in the Post-Yugoslav Region
Tamara P. Trošt and Lea David
8. The Illiberal Memory Politics in Hungary
9. Politics of Innocence: Holocaust Memory in Poland
10. The Baltic Model of Civic-Patriotic History
11. Patriotic History in Postcolonial Germany, Thirty Years After "Reunification"
12. National History in France: From Debate to Cultural Battle
13. Italy: Beyond the Clichés that Obscure Unacceptable Histories
14. Britain’s Culture War: Disguising Imperial Politics as Historical Debate about Empire
15. After 1776: Native Nations, Settler Colonialism, and the Meaning of America
Jeffrey Ostler and Karl Jacoby
Kornelia Konczal is Assistant Professor of Public History at Bielefeld University, Germany. She is the author and editor of many publications on European history and memory. Currently, she is preparing a book on the reconstruction of the post-German territories in East Central Europe after 1945.
A. Dirk Moses is the Anne and Bernard Spitzer Professor of International Relations at the City College of New York, and senior editor of the Journal of Genocide Research. His most recent book is The Problems of Genocide: Permanent Security and the Language of Transgression (2021).