Parkes, R. J., & Sharp, H. L. (2014). Nietzschean perspectives on representations of national history in Australian school textbooks: What should we do with Gallipoli? ENSAYOS: Revisita de la Facultad de Educación de Albacete, 29(1), 159-181.
For almost two decades, History education in Australia has been a site of struggle over collective memory of the colonial past, and an object of concern for how this impacts students’ sense of national identity. Since the advent of the history/culture wars and their spill over into History and Social Studies (Society and Environment) curricula, conservative historians, politicians, and media commentators have been fighting to see an end to ‘black armband’ history – or what they see as an excessively mournful view of our collective history – and its replacement with what they argue is a more ‘balanced’, but usually celebratory, vision of the national past. The new Australian History curriculum, which has sought to get beyond so-called ‘black armband’ and ‘white blindfold’ histories, has recently come under fire for its perceived lack of attention to one of the nation’s founding mythologies, the battle of Gallipoli. To engage with this debate, we will draw on a framework first presented by Friedrich Nietzsche for thinking about the uses and abuses of historical discourse.
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