Historians increasingly acknowledge that popular media representing violent pasts reach large audiences, which in itself is a phenomenon worth investigating. Schoolteachers in particular experience on a daily basis the impact of popular genres on their students’ ideas of history. Young people read graphic historical novels, watch quiz shows on television or on YouTube, play (video) games, post selfies on Instagram or participate in living history activities. The way they gather and process information about the past is increasingly built on popular representations they encounter outside the classroom. The articles in this special issue seek to question how popular media represent sensitive issues from violent pasts in modern history — e.g., decolonization processes, civil wars, World War I/II, the Holocaust — and under what conditions these popular media can contribute to critical historical thinking. After all, while historians and educators wonder if and how historical violence should be represented, the fact is that many popular media — particularly commercial films and video games — actually place heroic battles and wars at the centre of their representations. Consequently, there is a likely risk of sanitizing and romanticizing violence and atrocities.

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doi.org/10.1080/02103702.2020.1772542, hdl.handle.net/1765/129351
Infancia y Aprendizaje
Erasmus University Rotterdam

Grever, M., & Nieuwenhuyse, K.V. (Karel Van). (2020). Popular uses of violent pasts and historical thinking (Los usos populares de los pasados violentos y el razonamiento histórico). Infancia y Aprendizaje. doi:10.1080/02103702.2020.1772542