Colonial and Postcolonial Contexts of History Textbooks

Grindel offers a much-needed summary of the impact of Postcolonial Theory and New Imperial History on the depiction of European colonialism in history textbooks. Focusing on textbooks from England, France, Belgium and Germany and their dealings with Europe’s colonial empires in Africa the chapter also draws attention to the public uses of history. The reverberations of decolonization, of remembering and forgetting about the colonial past are shown as potentially disruptive or homogenizing for contemporary societies with examples drawn from France and Belgium. Furthermore, the chapter explores the dissemination of historical ideas in educational media, with history textbooks as their main and still most influential proponents. “Colonial and Postcolonial Contexts of History Textbooks” concludes with an outlook on Europe’s colonial narrative in postcolonial migrant societies.