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The ultimate fall of grand universal narratives has brought back organic concepts of nations and ethnicities as dominant answers to crises (financial, demographic, military, populist, and migration). The decisive turn towards a nation, as opposed to an international union of various countries, in Europe is perceived as a solution to discords related to values, identities, migrants, global capital and the escalation of armed conflicts.



 Discourses of Historical Education



18-20 2017



The ultimate fall of grand universal narratives has brought back organic concepts of nations and ethnicities as dominant answers to crises (financial, demographic, military, populist, and migration). The decisive turn towards a nation, as opposed to an international union of various countries, in Europe is perceived as a solution to discords related to values, identities, migrants, global capital and the escalation of armed conflicts.

Visions of Nation in School History Textbooks

It was on the backdrop of the political and social tendencies mentioned above that we commenced our research project, titled ‘Visions of nation in school history textbooks – comparative anthropological interpretation’, funded by the National Science Centre research program MAESTRO (no. 2012/06/A/HS3/00266). The goal of the project is to identify, analyze and present contemporary forms of national identity that have been imparted to millions of citizens throughout the Polish system of education since 1989. However, the identities constructed in the process of secondary socialization are not confined to school grounds only. They function in a broader social context, intertwining with other cultural artefacts, practices and notions that relate to the issues of collective memory and identity, as well as others.

Thus, the general purpose of our research is to recreate the intricate array of conceptions, prejudices and stereotypes (both positive and negative) surrounding the notions of nation, identity and nationalism, as well as to reconstruct the auto-descriptive mechanisms and their preconditions in contemporary Poland.

Call for Papers

During the conference we would like to supplement our investigation with a comparative perspective, both synchronic (from different regions, countries and cultures) and diachronic (historical development and future prospects). Therefore, we invite contributions from various perspectives and different disciplines of humanities, including culture studies, sociology, history, philosophy, political sciences, linguistic studies, visual arts, education studies, and other relevant fields of research. We would very much welcome diverse papers pertaining to the main theme of the conference – Discourses of Historical Education – set within the contexts of (but not limited to) the contemporary obsession with memory and its urgent critique; for example:

  • the central role of historical education (both in schools and outside of the education system) in shaping of collective identities
  • the political use and abuse of history
  • the role of film, new media, popular culture and other vehicles employed by identity-shaping ideologies, in historical education.

Research Fields

During our inquiries (both quantitative and qualitative) we have distinguished several research fields that are of particular significance to these issues – they revolve around such notions as nation and nationalism, social class, gender, ethnicity, local vs. global, religion, migration, capitalism and the economy, populism, militarism, political history vs. history of culture, ideology, collective memory and identity, heroes vs. traitors, state propaganda, commemorative practices, retrospective temporal orientation, heritage, trauma, sites of memory, memory conflicts, vehicles and media of memory, and political transformation. This list is not complete by any means. We would welcome contributions exploring one or a few of these categories, in the context of discourses of historical education, as well as others.


MONDAY, September 18th - ROOM S227

16.00-17.00 – Conference registration

17.00-19.0 - Keynote Lecutre and Discussion:

Introduction: Porf. Bogdan Wojciszke, SWPS University

Prof. Karel Van Nieuwenhuyse, University of Leuven, Torn between national, civic, critical and disciplinary aspirations: evolving faces of Belgian/Flemish history education, from 1830 to the future.

Prof. Rok Stergar, University of Ljubljana, Schools as Ethnic Boxes: Habsburg Education System and Nation Building.

20.00-23.00 - Welcome Party at Club "Bazar", Jagiellońska 13, Warsaw

TUESDAY, September 19th -  ROOM S227

9.30-11.30 – Keynote Lecutre and Discussion:

Dr Jernej Kosi, University of LjubljanaThe Textbook Myth: Slovene Peasants as Heroes of the Glorious past

Prof. Christian Karner, University of Nottingham, Memory Acts, "Mythscapes" and Nationalist Topoi in Times of Crises.

11.30-13.30 – SESSION I

Prof. Piotr Tadeusz Kwiatkowski, APS Warsaw, The Maria Grzegorzewska University), Is the past necessary for the people of today?

Dr Vittorio Caporrella, Bologna University, Language education as an instrument of historical national identity: Italian language schools in the Habsburg monarchy at the beginning of the twentieth century.

Dr Piotr Podemski, Warsaw University / SWPS University, A Myth of Nation Larger Than Life. Nation-Building through Politics of History in Fascist Italy.

Miłosz Zieliński, IS PAN and SWPS University, Subjects of the Empress. Internalisation of the history of East Prussia in contemporary regional history education in Kaliningrad Oblast [of the Russian Federation].

13.30-14.30 – Lunch break

14.30-16.30 – SESSION II

Oliver Pejić, University of Ljubljana, The Treatment of History in Austrian-Hungarian State Primary School Readers for Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Prof. Oscar Lansen, University of North Carolina – Charlotte, Not my Nation, Not my History: Political influence and Ethnocentric Bias in American Historical Education and Vision of Nation.

Dr hab. Mariusz Ausz and Prof. Jarosław Krajka, Maria Curie Skłodowska University in Lublin, The image of Poland’s southern neighbours in Polish history textbooks published during the People’s Republic of Poland and at present.

Dr Rafał Paweł Wierzchosławski, SWPS University, Antinomies, Principlism and Representations of the Pasts.

16.30-17.00 – Coffee Break

17.00-19.00 – SESSION III

Dr Michał Rauszer, University of Warsaw, People’s Republic without The People.

Bartosz Korinth, Tamara Rutkowska, University of Gdansk, Geographical determinism in historical education in schools - current state, opportunities and potential for development.

Piotr Krzyżański, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Polish textbooks in Stalinism era. A lost opportunity for socialism?

Piotr Pasisz, The Jan Kochanowski University in Kielce, The vision of the Polish nation in marxist historiography on the example of the textbook by Celina Bobińska.

WEDNESDAY, September 20th - ROOM S227

9.00-10.00 – Keynote lecture and discussion:

Dr Miri Yemini, Tel Aviv University, Invoking the global? Global/local nexus in the Israeli history curricula.

10.00-12.00 – SESSION IV

Dr Michał Mochocki, Kazimierz Wielki University – Bydgoszcz, Tabletop RPG in Historical Settings: From Textbook History to Performed Heritage

Prof. Krzysztof Jaskułowski and Dr Piotr Majewski, SWPS University, Politics of memory in Upper Silesian schools. Between Polish homogeneous nationalism and its Silesian discontents.

Tadeusz (Tadek) Wojtych, University of Cambridge / University of St Andrews, Joint textbook commissions in Central and Eastern Europe – a transnational approach.

Agnieszka Kania, Jagiellonian University, Development of a sense of
national identity in the process of Polish language arts education.
From (less) ethnic to (more) cultural vision of the nation.

12.00-12.30 – Coffee break

12.30-14.00 – SESSION V

Anna Szczeblewska, SWPS University, The teaching of history in post-genocide Rwanda: a case-study of the re-education camps in Ingando

Stanisław Lipiec, Pedagogical University in Cracow, About Poland: nothing, or just stereotypes. Teaching about Poland in schools of Northern Europe.

Dejana M. Vukasović, Senior Research Associate, Institute for Political Studies, Belgrade, Stereotypes about the Balkans: the case of the Western Balkans and its membership in the EU.

14.00-15.00 – Lunch break

15.00-16.30 – SESSION VI

Dr Paweł Dobrosielski, University of Warsaw, Peripheries of the Holocaust on the peripheries of education. The destruction of European Jews in the Polish history textbooks - an overview.

Dr Mohammad Nourian, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran, Using the principles and standards of organizing the contents of a book. Titled history of Iran and world in high school

Olena Dobosh, Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences, University: place for memory or memory place. How historical universities deal with the past in the era of commercialization?

Download Conference Program »

Important dates

  • August 15, 2017 - Titles and abstract submission deadline
  • August 25, 2017 – Paper acceptance decision
  • Participation in the conference is FREE – number of places is limited.
  • Organizers cover the cost of catering and the publication of the conference proceedings in the form of a special issue of an academic journal chosen by the organizing committee.
  • The organizing committee can assist in finding a suitable accommodation.

Please send the proposed titles and abstracts of your conference addresses (no more than 300 words) to historydiscourses@gmail.com.

Language of the conference: English.


Conference Organizer

  • Chair of Cultural Studies, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities


  • Institute of Slavic Studies Polish Academy of Sciences
  • Institute of Polish Culture, Department of Polish Studies, University of Warsaw
  • Department of Political Sciences and International Studies, Nicolaus Copernicus University

The conference is supported by the National Science Centre [grant number UMO-2012/06/A/HS3/00266].


Organizing Committee

  • Professor Wojciech Burszta (SWPS University)

  • Associate Professor Krzysztof Jaskułowski (SWPS University)

  • Assisstant Professor Piotr Majewski (SWPS University)

  • Paweł Dobrosielski, Ph.D. (Institute of Polish Culture - University of Warsaw)

  • Marcin Lisiecki, Ph.D. (Nicolaus Copernicus University)

  • Michał Rauszer, Ph.D. (Institute of Slavic Studies Polish Academy of Sciences)

  • Katarzyna Majbroda, Ph.D. (University of Wrocław)


SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities
Chodakowska 19/31, 03-815 Warsaw, Poland


e-mail: historydiscourses@gmail.com



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