Historical Culture: A Concept Revisited

Grever and Adriaansen reexamine “historical culture”, a concept that is crucial for understanding the changing relationships of people to the past and the professionalizing historical practice. Historical culture embraces both material and immaterial culture as well as academic and popular articulations. The rise of the concept had institutional reasons, associated with the emergence of history didactics in Europe, and intellectual reasons, as the cultural turn helped the concept to achieve recognition from the 1980s onwards. The authors present a dynamic and inclusive approach of historical culture consisting of three mutually dependent and interactive levels: the intersection of narrativity and performativity, mnemonic infrastructures, and conceptions of history. In this way, historical culture can be meaningful for history education, particularly in multicultural classrooms.