Event Title

Teaching History in Post-Conflict Societies: The Case of Quetzaltenango, Guatemala

Presenter Information

Maggie Paulin, Oberlin College

Location

Science Center, A155

Document Type

Presentation

Start Date

4-26-2013 1:30 PM

End Date

4-26-2013 2:30 PM

Abstract

What is the role of education in a post-conflict society and how is history taught in a country that cannot agree upon its past? This project explores these questions within the context of Guatemala, where a 36-year civil war and genocide (1960-96) have resulted in a contested and fragmented national narrative. Based upon my observations of history classes in three high schools in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, I consider how the actions and words of individual teachers challenge and support the dominant narrative of the past and complicate the path towards a peaceful future. It is in the space of the classroom, I believe, that the past is made present.

Notes

Session I, Panel 2: The Weight of a Nightmare: Making Sense of History in Guatemala, Chile, and Argentina
Moderator: Patrick O'Connor, Chair of Hispanic Studies and Associate Professor of Comparative Literature

Full text thesis available here.

Major

Latin American Studies

Advisor(s)

Steve Volk, Latin American Studies

Project Mentor(s)

Steve Volk, Latin American Studies

April 2013

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Apr 26th, 1:30 PM Apr 26th, 2:30 PM

Teaching History in Post-Conflict Societies: The Case of Quetzaltenango, Guatemala

Science Center, A155

What is the role of education in a post-conflict society and how is history taught in a country that cannot agree upon its past? This project explores these questions within the context of Guatemala, where a 36-year civil war and genocide (1960-96) have resulted in a contested and fragmented national narrative. Based upon my observations of history classes in three high schools in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, I consider how the actions and words of individual teachers challenge and support the dominant narrative of the past and complicate the path towards a peaceful future. It is in the space of the classroom, I believe, that the past is made present.