CAHSS Faculty Presentations, Proceedings, Lectures, and Symposia


History, Memory and Peace Education

Event Name

International Studies Association Conference

Event Location

San Diego, California, USA


Department of Conflict Resolution Studies

Document Type

Conference Presentation

Presentation Date


Date Range:

2012-04-01 to 2012-04-04


One of the most important skills a student of peace studies can gain is the ability to deconstruct dominant, hegemonic and often structurally violent socio-political narratives. After all, these are the narratives which often lead us to war. Yet when compared to other aspects of a typical peace studies curriculum, this key skill, so essential to exercising power and participation in one’s society, is comparatively underemphasized (see Beckerman 2007 or Malott and Porfilio 2011). Henry Giroux calls on educators to facilitate the difficult and often painful task of helping society remember—specifically to remember episodes of cruelty or violence in which it may have been involved as either a bystander, victim, perpetrator or a combination of these (“Imposed Amnesia”, 2010). Yet this vital tool is often deemphasized in peace education practice as compared to the teaching of cross-cultural communication or conflict resolution skills. This presentation will argue that the project of advancing peace and justice globally cannot be fully realized without a critical theory approach to peace studies which helps communities come to terms with what has been called the "heavy hand of history"; the presentation will also offer examples of such curriculum in practice.

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