Online Teaching in the Visegrad Region

Background

The Covid-19 pandemic led to unexpected school closures all across Europe, moving formal education either partially or entirely online in March 2020. This sudden shift revealed that teachers had little or no previous experience with distance learning, and were unprepared to conduct effective online teaching for their students.

In April 2020, in response to this need, EuroClio launched its Online Course on Online Teaching. It produced a total of 7 episodes developed in collaboration with international education professionals from across the EuroClio network, to cover issues from useful online tools like Canva and MindMup to assessment strategies in distance learning.

A year on, there still remains a wide gap between what students need and what teachers know how to offer with distance learning. Students grow more demotivated to learn online every day. Teachers need to be trained in effective tools and methodologies for effective digital learning, to be able to engage their learners, whose formative educational moments will be spent behind a screen for the foreseeable future. Even once teachers are able to teach face-to-face again, the legacy of the pandemic will be an increased expectation of digital readiness and resilience in the education sector, and teachers must be prepared to meet this expectation.

About the Project

This project aims to increase the digital readiness and resilience in the education sector, by increasing the knowledge and capacity of history and citizenship teachers in the Visegrad region to conduct effective online teaching with their students.

The project will deliver:

  1. A set of 8 Ready-to-use Online Learning Activities, to be available on Historiana.eu, on the topic of the socialist period in the Visegrad region developed by a multinational team of local history and citizenship educators with an emphasis on a cross-border perspective and the development of democratic competences in students.
  2. A Teachers’ Guide on Effective Online Teaching developed by online teaching experts from the region and across Europe, which will discuss and present practical strategies for: engaging students in online lessons, finding useful sources, maintaining the human connection, and the different methods and platforms available for teachers to use as part of their online teaching offer.

Team Members

Project Team:

  • Catherine Savitsky, EuroClio
  • Alice Modena, EuroClio
  • Juraj Varga, Centre for Education and Innovations
  • Richárd Fodor, Hungarian Historical Society Teachers’ Division
  • Klara Hoskova, German School in Prague
  • Jakub Manczak, Pilecki Institute

Project Partners

 

Acknowledgement

The Online Teaching in the Visegrad Region project is supported by the International Visegrad Fund (visegradfund.org).

 

 

[PARTNER] Contested Histories Onsite

About the Project

This project will actively underline how contested histories are a universal theme throughout Europe when dealing with its totalitarian histories. Instances of antisemitism, xenophobia, homophobia and other forms of intolerance by totalitarian regimes will be examined to highlight how exclusionary narratives are created and how to teach students to deconstruct discourse leading to exclusion and marginalisation. It is our belief that this critical deconstruction of historical narratives will raise awareness of practices of remembrance, common history and values, thereby strengthening a sense of belonging that transcends national differences.

Project Aims

The Onsite project builds upon the Contested Histories Initiative, which noted the potential of contested historical sites as a place for teaching, learning and working towards social and historical justice. Onsite aims to use historical sites representing past totalitarian regimes as a starting point for a discussion with citizens about the importance of pluralism, civic rights and democratic practices, and to create opportunities for debate on European history beyond national perspectives. Emphasis will be placed on multiple perspectives, debate and active public involvement in tours.

Project Outcomes

In this project, EuroClio and the Memory Studies Association will create:

  • A series of 4 public lectures and virtual tours at sites in Poland, Italy, Spain and Estonia that reflect histories of totalitarianism. Each tour will engage citizens, students, educators, and experts in critically reflecting upon complex historical narratives and the diversity of history within the EU at local, national, and supranational levels.
  • A toolkit geared towards teachers, will focus on how to critically present complex historical sites to a diverse audience. By developing the toolkit based on tours at various site locations, it aims to foster public understanding of the complexities of historical memory across Europe; to draw transnational connections and highlight multiple perspectives. It will be peer-reviewed and translated into Dutch, Estonian, Italian, Polish and Spanish. 
  • A documentary-style video that showcases each site location.
  • A podcast series that will be informed by the lectures, tour content and active citizen involvement.

The sites

The four chosen sites for contested totalitarian legacies of 20th century Europe are:

  • The Warsaw Uprising Museum (Poland), chosen for its representation of warring regional nationalist movements that serve to deepen the understanding of the violent context of the Second World Wars Eastern Front; 
  • The Statue of the Bronze Soldier in Tallinn (Estonia), chosen for its representation of conflicting World War II narratives of liberation vs. occupation by the Red Army a mnemonic dispute extending beyond the Baltics to much of Central and Eastern Europe;
  • The Mussolini Bas-Relief in Bolzano (Italy), chosen for its representation of fascism in Southern Europe and the ways in which historical narratives are woven to suit contemporary political agendas;
  • The Valley of the Fallen in Madrid (Spain), a memorial for those who perished in the Spanish Civil War and where Francisco Franco’s remains lay until his exhumation in 2019, chosen for its representation of contested war commemorations and reconciliation in Southwestern Europe.

 

Image credits (all images have been edited):

Bronze Soldier of Tallinn in Estonia "IMG_3703" by Carl-Johan Sveningsson CC BY-NC 2.0

Mussolini Bas-Relief in Italy "Fassade finanzamt bozen 2018" by Bartleby08 CC BY-SA 4.0

Valley of the Fallen in Spain "62003-Valley-of-the-Fallen" by Xiquinho Silva CC BY 2.0

Warsaw Uprising Museum in Poland "The Warsaw Uprising Museum" by Destructive Compliments CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Project partners

The Contested Histories Onsite is a partner project between the Memory Studies Association and EuroClio, with support from the Europe for Citizens Programme of the European Union.

Project Team

Memory Studies Team

  • Aline Sierp
  • Silvina Cabrera
  • Lorena Ortiz Cabrero

EuroClio Team

  • Steven Stegers
  • Marie-Louise Jansen
  • Grace Sahota

Experts

  • TBD

Historical Dialogue: Fostering Peace through History Education in Sri Lanka

About the Initiative

Dealing with Sri Lanka’s post-independence history is grossly underrepresented in the country’s school curricula. By the time Sri Lankans leave school, many of them are more familiar with the myths and legends from the pre-colonial era than with the country’s history since its independence in 1948. Knowledge of contemporary history, including the causes and effects of the various violent conflicts, largely stems from the media and from stories told in families or on social networks. Unfortunately, the narratives emerging here are often one-sided and strongly influenced by ethno-linguistic and religious perceptions of history. Faced with continuous tensions along ethnic and religious lines even a decade after the end of the civil war, finding constructive ways of learning about history, dealing with the past, honing critical thinking skills and addressing root causes of conflict is crucial to reconciliation and sustainable peace in the country as well as to becoming responsible citizens of the country.

The pilot initiative targets history educators from all regions of Sri Lanka with different cultural and professional backgrounds - history teachers working in schools, but also educational staff working at cultural heritage institutes, such as archives and museums, historians and researchers. It also aims to deepen young people's understanding of their history and to enhance their critical thinking skills.

This pilot initiative will last 10 months. It started on 15 December 2020 and will end on 15 October 2021.

Aims of the Pilot Initiative

  • Producing conflict-sensitive didactic materials for history teachers in schools and universities;
  • Introducing history educators in schools and universities to the methods and materials and providing guidance on how to effectively use them in teaching;
  • Exposing more Sri Lankans to didactic materials that deal with Sri Lanka’s recent history since its independence in 1948;
  • Developing student’s critical thinking skills in learning about the past and creating a love for learning history;
  • Facilitating exchange between experts in history education who are living and working in Sri Lanka and Europe.

 

Expected Outcomes

 

  • The capacity of history teachers in Sri Lanka will be strengthened to deal with post-independence events;
  • Finding constructive ways of learning about history and dealing with the past, addressing root causes of conflict in order to become responsible citizens and reach sustainable peace in the country.

Team Members

Coordinators:

  • Steven Stegers (EuroClio)
  • Andreas Holtberget (EuroClio)
  • Christoph Feyen (SRP)
  • Jannike Riesch (SRP)
  • Munira Mutaher (SRP)
  • Johann Peiris (SRP)
  • Sulakshana de Mel (SRP)
  • Dennis Röder (ISHD)
  • Susanne Popp (ISHD)

Partners

Acknowledgement

"Historical Dialogue: Fostering Peace through History Education in Sri Lanka" is supported by Strengthening Reconciliation Processes in Sri Lanka (SRP). SRP is co-financed by the European Union and the German Federal Foreign Office and implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and the British Council.

For more information on the wider work on history by Strengthening Reconciliation Processes in Sri Lanka of the GIZ, see also their Historical Dialogue platform.

 

[PARTNER] Critical History

About the Project

Recent years have seen profound societal changes across Europe. The rise of the internet has given students and teachers easier access to information, fundamentally altering the way in which we learn about both current and past events. At the same time, disinformation, fake news and conspiracy theories increasingly find their way into classrooms.

The frequent use of history in the public sphere, including in films, games and fiction that youth consume similarly provide educators with both opportunities and challenges. While students may arrive at school with preconceived ideas about history that have little root in research, there are also opportunities to engage them in topics they care about. Teachers must therefore be up to the task of recognising biases and challenging assumptions, all while encouraging their students to critically reflect on what they see, read and hear. Current discussions on heritage, and what we as a society choose to remember, cherish or commemorate, does not only help students learn about the past, it also forces them to think about the present and the kind of society we wish to live in.

European classrooms have over time become increasingly diverse. Still, most curricula remain centred on traditional, nation-centric narratives that are neither equipped for, nor reflective of, this new diversity present across our continent.

The aim of this project is therefore to prepare future history teachers for a critical history education more attuned to the realities of 21st century societies. Through an updated critical history education, pupils across Europe will be provided the critical thinking skills required for active citizenship in democratic and pluralistic societies.

Project Aims & Outcomes

  • Field analysis, including a literature review and a collection of practices;
  • A study guide, with learning activities and teaching methods and tools on four topics in English, Estonian, German, Polish and Spanish:
    • Heritage in history education (Tallinn University),
    • Global dimensions of national history and post-colonial history (Augsburg University),
    • Public history and history education (Wroclaw University),
    • The role and influence of the internet in history education (Salamanca University);
  • Professional development and professional networking of the people who are actively involved in the project;
  • Closer working relations between various professional organisations in the field of history education, such as the International Society for History Didactics (ISHD), EuroClio, the International Federation for Public History (IFPH) and the History Educators International Research Network (HEIRNET).

Team Members

Project Managers:

  • Steven Stegers, Executive Director EuroClio
  • Andreas Holtberget, Project Manager EuroClio
  • Mare Oja (Tallinn University, project lead)
  • Kerstin Liiva (Tallinn University, project lead)
  • Joanna Wojdon (University of Wrocław)
  • Antón Seoane Pardo (University of Salamanca)
  • Valentina Zangrando (University of Salamanca)
  • Susanne Popp (Augsburg University)

Donors

The project will be implemented with the financial support of the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union. The Project (2020-1-EE01-KA201-077997) is taking place September 2020 - September 2023.

Project Members

 

 

Europeana DSI4

About the Project

The 4th phase of the DSI project - DSI4 - will continue the work and further develop the outcomes of the previous phases of the Europeana Digital Service Infrastructure project. EuroClio and Europeana will work together to improve the discoverability of both Historiana and Europeana websites. In this phase 24 new source collections and related eLearning activities, using content from the Europeana Collections, will be added to the Historiana eLearning Environment. EuroClio and Europeana will also updated Teacher Training Package developed in the previous phase of the project with the new educational material developed in this phase, and provide Teacher Trainings, both online and offline, using its updated version. This training will allow to directly train teachers with Historiana, and will give EuroClio the possibility to have a direct feedback from history educator, to take into consideration for future developments of both Historiana and the Teacher Training Package.

In September 2020, the project was lengthened for one year. This new phase of the project aims to further the discoverability of the digital cultural content, strengthen our partnership with cultural heritage institutes and train teachers and educators to use the platform and its content.

Project Aims

The overall aim of the project is to facilitate the optimization of Europeana and Historiana resources in history education, and in particular the project aims for:

  • The re-use of sources from Europeana Collecions to create new source collections for Historiana eLearning environment;
  • The creation of new eLearning activities for Historiana eLearning environment using the sources collected in the project;
  • Provide teacher trainings and workshops using Historiana and the Teacher Training Package;
  • Improve the discoverability of both Europeana and Historiana;
  • Reach out and link better to history educators who search for source collections online.

The consortium will work in the project to develop the following outputs:

DSI4

24 new source collections on Historiana using the content from Europeana

This output will result in new source collections for the Historiana eLearning Environment using sources from the Europeana Collection. All in all 24 new source collections on 6 different themes (4 for each themes) will be added to the Historiana Historical Content. This output will allow the re-use of Europeana Collections and will provide Historiana’s users with more Historical material available. The first three themes have already been decided: Industrial Revolutions, European Renaissances and Napoleon and his times. For the remaining three themes, in order to provide history educators with the material they are looking for, in the decision on the themes for the source collections feedback and suggestions from the EuroClio community will be taken into account. The development of these source collections will be done by the EuroClio with the supervions and curation of the Historiana Historical Content Team.

24 new eLearning activities on Historiana

Along with the source collections, for each new source collection an eLearning Activity will be developed. This will result in 24 new eLearning activities that will be added to the learning and teaching section on Historiana. With these ready to use activities, users will have the possibility to see how new collections can be used to prepare learning activities to yous in their teaching.

Update of the Teacher Training Package

The Teacher Training Package developed in the previous phase of the project will be improved and updated during this 4th phase. The updated version will include references to the new educational material developed during the implementation of the project.

You can download the teacher training  package here.

Online and Offline trainings

Multiple specialized workshops will be delivered by different EuroClio trainers in Teacher Training Institutes amongst others in The Netherlands, using the updated Teacher Training Package and Historiana, from spring 2019. From fall 2019 a group of 4 educators, selected from the Historiana teaching and learning team will provide trainings all across Europe. EuroClio will also provide several online trainings throughout the implementation of the project. These trainings will allow EuroClio to directly train training teachers on how to use Historiana in their lessons. Feedback from the participants to the trainings will be as well important to give EuroClio and Europeana insights on how to update and improve the Teacher Training Package.

 

DSI4.2

Upgraded Partner Pages on Historiana

This output will result in upgraded partner pages on Historiana whereby partners from the platform will be enabled to create their own content and publish them directly on Historiana. The partners (museums, archives, libraries etc.) will be able to publish source collections and elearning activities by using their own collections. This will result in a variety of sources and languages on the platform.

Support for different media types

The project will also focus on rendering Historiana able to use more types of sources such as videos, audios etc. This will be applicable not only for source collections but also for elearning activities.

Self-Paced Online Training Course

The Historiana team is working to create an online course to teach the basics of Historiana to beginners. The Self-Paced courses will happen ‘live’ in February 2021 and 2022. The live course will include feedback to the content sent by participants, but the course will also be available offline, with no feedback.

Series of Webinar for advanced users

Next to the Self Paced Course, the project will also develop a series of Webinars for advanced users of Historiana, which will focus on the ebuilder. The webinars will introduce the participants to the ebuilder and explain in greater details the reasoning behind certain elearning activities and how to take the most advantage of the ebuilder. These webinars will take place in December 2020, February 2021, April 2021 and June 2021.

Project Material

Teacher Training Package

At a glance:

Donor

The project will be implemented with the financial support of the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.

Project Coordinators

Steven Stegers (Executive Director)

Lorraine Besnier (Junior Project Manager)

Project team

Project Partners

 

Team Members

Historical Content Team

  • Bob Stradling
  • Chris Rowe
  • Francesco Scatigna
  • Andrea Scionti
  • Sean Wempe

Historical Education Team

  • Helen Snelson
  • Bridget Martin
  • Gijs van Gaans
  • James Diskant

Learning History that is not yet History II

About the Project

In the Balkans, no topic is more sensitive or divisive than the recent wars that marked the end of Yugoslavia. This makes teaching about this period of history very difficult. At the same time, there is a need and momentum to do this. Young people, who did not experience the war, are asking questions, and the wars have become a mandatory component of history education curricula in every country of the region that bears the scar of the conflict. Teaching about the wars is unavoidable, and should not be avoided.

How can teachers teach this event (or set of events) that are not yet considered “history,” yet are ever-present in media and cultural memory? How can teachers navigate the controversies of students’ personal family stories, contradictory national narratives, and competing ethnic victimhoods? How can they offer a balanced view of the wars for their students while meeting state curriculum requirements?

These are the questions that the project Learning History that is not yet History (LHH) began to tackle. As a result of its hard work and pioneering approach in a difficult region, the LHH team were awarded the Global Pluralism Award 2019 by the Global Centre for Pluralism (GCP) in Ottawa, Canada. See the video below:

Project Aims

Building on the results of its predecessor, the Learning History that is not yet History II (LHH2) project is promoting a pluralistic approach to teaching the recent wars, thus contributing to stability and more mutual understanding in the region.

In this project, EuroClio and its partners will create...

  • 12 ready-to-use educational materials on teaching the recent past of the dissolution of Yugoslavia and the 1990s wars, available in all national languages;
  • a Teacher’s Guide for teaching sensitive and controversial topics in the classroom in a way that promotes open dialogue and discussion between students, and handling emotional reactions to traumatic content in and outside the classroom, available in all national languages;
  • a promotional video to spread awareness of the work EuroClio has done in the Balkan region and ensure the expansion of the network, with subtitles in all national languages;
  • teacher-training workshops using the learning activities and methodologies developed, hosted in the local national languages.

As a result of the project…

 

  • The capacity of history teachers in the Balkans will be strengthened to deal with this sensitive topic transnationally;
  • The cooperation with colleagues from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, and Slovenia will be strengthened;
  • The use and implementation of the developed resources will be increased through training events, presentations, and awareness-raising activities;
  • The online database at devedesete.net with 100+ entries of existing (educational) resources that could be used in teaching the recent wars in schools will be maintained.

Project Team

EuroClio Coordinators:

  • Steven Stegers
  • Catherine Savitsky

Country Coordinators:

  • Bojana Dujković-Blagojević
  • Igor Jovanović
  • Donika Xhemajli
  • Miloš Vukanović
  • Mire Mladenovski
  • Aleksandar Todosijević
  • Marjeta Šifrer

Project Partners

 

Acknowledgement

The Learning History that is not yet History II project is supported by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Global Centre for Pluralism (Ottawa, Canada).

Teaching European History in the 21st century

Teaching European History in the 21st century is a three-year project that aims to respond to the needs of European Universities that are increasingly international by providing innovative didactic methods, and the development of innovative teaching materials.

Project leader and project partners

The project has been undertaken by Utrecht University, which is one of the oldest universities in the Netherlands since it was established in 1636. The Department of History and Art History is the largest department in the Faculty of Humanities and has a strong focus on international teaching and research cooperation. Furthermore, we have six project partners: The Autonomous University of Madrid (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid – UAM), which is a public university established in 1968, one of Spain’s most prominent higher education institutions. The Department of History at HU Berlin (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin), which is one of the largest and most diverse centers for historical studies and research in Germany.

University of Sheffield, whose outstanding record of research has been consistently recognized by external bodies and it has been ranked among the UK’s top three History departments for the impact and quality of research in the Research Excellence Framework 2014. Charles University (CUNI, Univerzita Karlova) in Prague, the oldest University in Central Europe, founded in 1348. Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE), a Hungarian public research university based in Budapest, which was founded in 1635. Last but not least; The University of Lille (UDL), a multidisciplinary university of excellence at the heart of Northern Europe.

EuroClio’s contribution

EuroClio will be working on the development of an online collection that will be uploaded in Historiana. It will be consisted of source collections in the original language and English translations, clustered around important themes in European history. Also, the primary sources mentioned and described in the textbook, which will be published in the end of the project, will be made available in the form of online source collections, in their original form and in English translation.

Intellectual outputs

TEH21 will result in innovative teaching material based on textual, visual and audiovisual sources produced by international author teams. At the end of the project, the following outputs will be published:

(1) An open access textbook that reflects the multiperspectivity of European history, covering transnational developments and networks in early modern, modern and contemporary history. The chapters are written collaboratively by international teams of authors from at least four of the participating academic partner institutions to ensure a truly European perspective.

(2) A collection of online lectures functioning as introduction to the chapters of the open access textbook.

(3) An online collection of selected primary sources.

(4) A best-practice guide to the use of the above-mentioned outputs in the international classroom. This digital volume will be based on the experiences of testing the outputs by international teacher teams in structured learning activities that form part of this project.

Learn more at: https://teh21.sites.uu.nl/

In Europe Schools

About the Project

In 2019, Dutch national broadcaster VPRO joined forces with EuroClio and launched the In Europe Schools project! Inspired by the VPRO-television series, In Europe – History Caught in the Act, presented by Dutch best-selling author Geert Mak, VPRO and EuroClio developed four interactive online Educational Toolkits on the Modern History of Europe with topics including: Difficult History, Migration, Climate Change and Gender Equality.

We are proud to share that In Europe Schools has brought together more than 110 schools from all across Europe. The countries participating are Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, France, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, North-Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Turkey, and the United-Kingdom

Learning Objectives

  • Approaching the teaching and learning of modern European history from a transnational perspective, encouraging multiperspectivity
  • Encouraging international cooperation and networking between teachers and pupils
  • Developing hands-on research skills and experience in conducting interviews and documentary making
  • Learning how to film, edit and produce a documentary
  • Contributing to students’ overall development of media literacy

Expected Outcomes

In Europe Schools is a Europe exchange project, during which students are encouraged to research different questions on a variety of topics related to the Education Kits and process their findings in self-made documentaries. The final step of each Education Kit provides a moment of exchange and reflection: Students will exchange their documentaries with their peers in Europe, sharing thoughts and views, enabling them to see how similar topics are approached from different perspectives. 

The Education Kits are supported by Starter Clips and Tutorials, providing tips and tricks for research, interviewing, editing and producing their documentaries. All student-made documentaries are also available on the In Europe Schools YouTube Channel.

Latest news

In Europe Schools: What do teachers and students say?

Eugenie Khatschatrian EUROCLIO, Project Updates , ,

In 2019, EuroClio joined forces with Dutch public broadcaster VPRO for the development of an online exchange project for European schools – In Europe Schools. Inspired by the VPRO television series In Europe – History Caught in the Act on modern European history, EuroCio and VPRO, alongside a team of authors, created four Education Kits …

Join us!
After a successful pilot phase in 2019, more than 100 schools have already registered. Schools can sign up here!

Contested Histories

“I strongly support the idea of the IHJR assisting policymakers by identifying principles, processes and best practices.”

Ambassador Lamberto Zannier
OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities
Symposium on Contested Histories in Public Spaces
All Souls College, University of Oxford, March 28, 2019

Click here to read the full address

About the Project

The IHJR's project on Contested Histories in Public Spaces is a multi-year initiative intended to address controversies over statues, memorials, street names and other representations of disputed historical legacies in public spaces. The objective of the Contested Histories project is to provide decision-makers, policy planners, educators, and other stakeholders with a set of case studies, best practices and guidelines for addressing historical contestations in an effective and responsible manner. As part of this project, the IHJR works with the International Bar Association in London, and the Salzburg Global Seminar in Austria, on a series of in-depth case studies that was published in February 2021. For more information contact Marie-Louise Jansen, Director, Contested Histories Project (jansen@ihjr.org).

Background

Over the past several years there has been growing public controversy over contested historical legacies on university campuses and in public spaces in towns and cities around the world. The Rhodes Must Fall movement that began in Cape Town, South Africa, and the controversy over statue of Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Virginia, in the United States, are but two examples (see below). Most contestations occur at the municipal or institutional level, where the physical representations of historical legacies are encountered on a daily basis, whether in the form of statues, street names, building names, monuments, memorials or emblems and symbols.

Conflict over interpretations of history span a range of issues including legacies of slavery, imperialism, fascism, communism, colonialism, inter-ethnic tensions, mass human rights abuses and other relevant subjects. In almost all cases calls for removal of statues, renaming of streets, and reframing of school or university curricula, are symptomatic of deeper divisions within societies.

Confronted with public protests, street demonstrations, and social media campaigns, decision makers have often responded in haste, sometimes in panic, and more often than not without the benefit of established principles, processes or best practices, resulting in remedies that are sometimes inadequate, ineffective or arbitrary with potentially long-term, unintended consequences.

Iconic cases

Below are a select number of iconic cases that are part of the Contested Histories project to catalogue more than one hundred cases.

 

Picture of

The Rhodes Must Fall movement began in 2016 at the University of Cape Town. It called for the removal of Cecil Rhodes' statues and has since spread around the world.

Picture of

A lawsuit was filed against Charlottesville city council in 2017 after they voted to remove a statue of General Lee. The council was charged with violating a law protecting veterans' memorials and monuments.

Picture of

Shifting narratives and national memory surrounding the Latin Bridge in Sarajevo, the site where the heir to the Autro-Hungarian empire was assassinated in 2014, have signified and resignified the site over the years. Today a neutral plaque has seemingly resolved tensions.

Interactive mapping

The Contested Histories project also seeks to provide an interactive map that shows the locations of contestations across the globe with a picture and short description. The cases will be organised by categories of contestation and an icon indicating if they are bounded to legal components. Below you can see a provisional version of the map. The interactive map will be released upon completion.

Project Aims

The Contested Histories project seeks to identify, document, and examine cases of contestation around the world, with the goal of identifying a set of principles, processes and best practices that can help inform decision making. To this end, the IHJR has identified more than a hundred cases in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and the Americas. Each case is researched and tracked on a digital map connected to a database. The intention is to build an interactive web platform accessible to a wide range of stakeholders. Although each case is unique, and underlying causes within communities are often specific to individual societies and/or circumstances, it is hoped that the aggregated materials will provide insights that help facilitate better informed decision making when responding to future contestations, and provide a resource for educators interested in examining multi-perspective approaches to history education.

The Institute for Historical Justice and Reconciliation is a research center at EuroClio and works in cooperation with a range of public, private and independent institutions. The publication of a volume on Contested Histories in Public Spaces is being overseen by an international Task Force and is supported in part by the International Bar Association, and Salzburg Global Seminar, with research support from Erasmus University, Harvard University, and the University of Oxford. The program team welcomes suggestions for cases to include in its study, which can be submitted to the following email: jansen@ihjr.org

Expected Outcomes

The project on Contested Histories in Public Spaces works towards providing the following outputs:

1. Principles, processes and guidelines for decision-makers;
2. Series of case studies in a published volume;
3. Global survey and mapping of contestations with relational database;
4. Digital platform to aggregate and disseminate relevant information;
5. Case study materials adapted for high school and university curricula.

Latest news

Open Position: Project Management Trainee for Contested Histories project

Alicia Rijlaarsdam Opportunities ,

The Contested Histories team is looking for an enthusiastic and dedicated trainee to support case study research, project management, fundraising, administration, mapping, and outreach on the Contested Histories project. Due to the current health and safety regulations of the Netherlands, this is a remote position which may become in-person at the EuroClio office in The …

Contested Heritage on Film: An interview with Oxford student & former intern Issabella Orlando on her award winning documentary ‘The Return Address’

Mechteld Visser Articles ,

When Issabella Orlando joined the Contested Histories team for a week-long research assignment in December 2020, she already had an extensive project on contested heritage under her belt. While studying full-time at Oxford University, Issabella wrote and directed the short documentary ‘The Return Address: Where Does Heritage Belong?’. The film delves into the question of …

A Reverse on Buller: how a Council rescinded its decision for relocation of a statue

Oliver Anthony Articles

There is a strange irony in Exeter City Council’s recent reversal of their decision to relocate a statue of nineteenth-century military leader, General Sir Redvers Buller; the man who had already earned himself the nickname ‘Reverse Buller’ for his garish military tactics and organisational failings. On January 12th, 2021, it was initially determined that the …

Colston in Bristol: School Renaming

Samuel Wall Articles

After a storm comes the calm. When applied to “storms” of popular protest fuelled by contestations over controversial legacies of the past in public spaces – specifically those raised by the Black Lives  Matter Movement concerning colonialism, slavery, and racism in the wake of George Floyd’s killing on  25th May 2020 – this proceeding “calm” …

Virtual book launch: Contested Histories in Public Spaces

Alicia Rijlaarsdam EUROCLIO, Project Updates ,

The virtual launch of the eBook “Contested Histories in Public Spaces: Principles, Processes, Best Practices” will be held on Thursday 11 February (18:00 – 19:00 CET). During the webinar, hosted by the International Bar Association, participants will hear from the volumes’ co-editors, such as Dr Timothy W Ryback, Dr Mark Ellis, and Benjamin Glahn, along …

Annual Conference: Marketplace on Contested Cultural Heritage

Alicia Rijlaarsdam Articles ,

“If you’re going to teach history, teach it all” (Paolo Ceccoli, EuroClio Ambassador) During the final workshop of our Annual Conference, EuroClio ambassador Paolo Ceccoli shared this powerful quote. The goal of the Marketplace on Contested Cultural Heritage was twofold. On the one hand, participants learned about the research that EuroClio and the Institute for …

New Contested Histories research collaboration sparks a call for more

Grace Sahota Project Updates

This article was triggered by a new collaboration between the Contested Histories Initiative and students in ‘Narratives of the Past’ from France. Contested Histories is a multi-year project designed to identify principles, processes and best practices for addressing these contestations at the community or municipal level and in the classroom. As of September 2020, the …

The Legacy of Cecil Rhodes at Oriel College

Oliver Anthony Articles , , ,

When a protestor left a sign on the doors of Oxford’s University Church reading ‘Rhodes, You’re Next’, there was little doubt that the monumental Black Lives Matter movement, sweeping the world after the death of George Floyd, would next be turning its attention to the statue of the imperialist figure adorning Oriel College’s entrance arch.  …

Monuments Matter: A Singaporean Solution

Miranda Richman Articles

We are pleased to present the case on The Statue of Sir Stamford Raffles and His Legacy as part of a series of in-depth studies for the Contested Histories Initiative. We hope that this series will provide insights and lessons learned for engaging with and addressing instances of disputed historical legacies in public spaces. Oftentimes, …

Sharing European Histories

About the project

The past is often a source of conflicting interpretations rather than easy consensus. Still, historical identity is central to relations between states and people in the here and now. In our diverse European society, we cannot escape history when seeking to understand the present in our search for a common future.

Understanding European history, like other histories, involves a continuous process of construction and deconstruction, writing and rewriting. At the same time, as the history of the European continent is marked by constant movement of cultures and populations, diving into it might well offer insights into how people in Europe interacted and lived together in the past.

We believe that opening up a space to engage with the dissonant and often conflictual nature of European history is the first step in discovering common positions or overcoming divisions while acknowledging existing differences.

European histories are often seen as dividing the continent. With this project, a call for innovative ideas and projects should contribute to the understanding of young people regarding the complexity and multiplicity of European histories, and therefore better understand the continent itself.

Project Aims

  • Enable individuals and organisations to draft and realize their own ideas on innovative ways to deal with the teaching of European history.
  • Disseminate innovative projects, resources and practices that help young people to understand the complexity and multiplicity of European history.
  • An accessible finalized project that can be easily adopted to any teacher/trainer’s approach.

Results so far

The English-language version of the teaching strategies is now available. You can download them individually or in full by clicking on the images below.

          

The strategies will be translated into 10 different languages to be used in the classroom and in professional development workshops.

 

Serbian: Full Publication

Ukrainian: Commemorative Practices and Object Biographies

Latest news

Sharing European Histories meets in The Hague

Veronika Budaiová Project Updates

In today’s diverse society, everyone has its own understanding or interpretation of historical events. The opening up of a space to engage with the dissonant and often conflictual nature of European history is the first step in discovering common positions or overcoming divisions while acknowledging these existing differences. The Sharing European Histories project core goal …

Call for trainers to give national trainings in Sharing European Histories

Veronika Budaiová Opportunities

Call for trainers to give national trainings in Sharing European Histories Do you believe it is important to teach history that goes beyond national narratives? Do you enjoy sharing experiences with colleagues from your country and giving workshops? Do you want to come to EuroClio’s Annual Conference in Serbia? Then we are looking for you! …

Partner Project (Re)Viewing European Stories Publishes Learning Activities

European histories are most prone to conflicting interpretations in places where national borders shifted repeatedly and local communities were uprooted or new communities settled in. To integrate these border dialogues in the classroom, EuroClio’s Sharing European Histories project supported efforts by the EUscreen Foundation to develop learning activities about borders and their significance in European …