Augsburg University History Didactics Chair Hosts EUROCLIO at East China Normal University Shanghai Summer School

More than twenty Chinese students, history teachers and doctoral candidates visited the Chair of History Didactics at Augsburg University from 29 June until 11 July to take part in the first German-Chinese Summer School on Public History. EUROCLIO Director Jonathan Even-Zohar joined the summer school for two days and contributed to the programme with a discussion on the role of civil society and hisotry education across borders, as well as a series of talks with prominent University representatives.

The Summer School was planned by Prof. Dr. Meng Zhongjie, Vice Dean of the History Faculty at East China Normal University (ECNU) in Shanghai, and Prof. Dr. Susanne Popp with her team at the Chair of History Didactics at Augsburg University. Its aim was to discuss and develop ideas in the broad field of historical culture in research and mediation in a representative, diverse, theoretical and practically oriented way.

One objective was to look at the differences, similarities, perspectives, theoretical concepts and practical models of modern history mediation in two systems, which are politically, socially and culturally completely different.

The Summer School program included presentations, workshops, excursions and visits to school lessons. The main topics for these activities were the methods, media and institutions of history mediation in Germany and Europe. Another focal point was history teaching in schools providing general education; here participants of the Summer School concentrated on the basics and characteristics of history as a subject in schools, as well as the teaching aims, methods and media used in the lessons and the school books by comparing their use in Germany and China.

The concepts of memorial cultures in Germany were looked at, using the National Socialism, the holocaust and the Second World War as the topics of mediation. During visits to the memorial site at the former concentration camp in Dachau, and several places in Nuremberg participants discussed the ways Germany handles its historical responsibility.

The EU-project EMEE, which is looking into the contemporary history mediation in museums, provided an insight into conventional and modern concepts of museological history mediation. These insights as well as other museum and exhibition concepts were explored in numerous visits to museums in Augsburg, Munich, Nuremberg and Berlin.

The last aspect, which was discussed during the summer school, was the media of history education, particularly popular history magazines. The University of Augsburg was able to contribute to this aspect by using the results of the EU-research project EHISTO, which was completed successfully in 2014. Additionally, Dr. Stefan Bergmann, the editor-in-chief of DAMALS – one of Germany’s leading history magazines – provided further insight into the development of popular history magazines. The program of the Summer School was completed by lecturers from both Augsburg and Shanghai, and experts from Bremen, Berlin and Milan. The organizers were very happy that EUROCLIO-director Dr. Jonathan Even-Zohar visited the Summer School to present EUROCLIO and to have a discussion with the participants.

The Summer School is sponsored by the Gesellschaft der Freunde der Universität Augsburg e.V., the Deutsch-Chinesische Gesellschaft Augsburg e.V., the Huangshan Publishing House, Shanghai and the East China Normal University (ECNU) Shanghai.