Historical Edutainment: New Forms and Practices of Popular History?

Korte and Paletschek start from the observation that more people encounter history as “edutainment” today than through formal education. Represented or performed in all media, often mixing fact and fiction, popular-history products entertain as much as they instruct. The chapter asks how new this phenomenon actually is and points to antecedents in the nineteenth century. It also surveys the various concepts and theoretical frameworks with which popular history has been approached in different academic traditions and claims that popular history has evolved into a truly interdisciplinary field. The chapter finally uses the 2014 centenary of the outbreak of World War to show how popular history ties in with academic reinterpretations of the war.