By Maria Grever, Siep Stuurman
'Beyond the Canon' bargains with fresh politicized techniques of canonization and its implications for old tradition in a globalizing and postcolonial global. the amount discusses the framing and transmission of historic wisdom and its results for the development of narratives and the instructing of historical past in multicultural environments.
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Additional info for Beyond the Canon: History for the Twenty-first Century
On a European scale, the increased emphasis on national history – together with the standardization of national languages – resulted in a certain fragmentation of the erstwhile European canon. What now emerged were distinct national bodies of historical scholarship. On behalf of their nations, historians produced narratives with different and often competing national plots, vaunting the superiority and longevity of their own country. 16 Specific narratives are communicated in story-telling, at home or in the classroom; they deal Plurality, Narrative and the Historical Canon 35 with a specific region, in a specific time, with an assortment of good and bad guys.
New social frameworks emerged of which the nation-state was the most powerful, making up for the existential grounding sapped by the decline of the religious sphere. 29 To imagine and empower a nation, political elites worked hard to forge 38 Beyond the Canon a community with a specific identity, shape, memory and mission. In the nineteenth century, nation-states erected monuments, distributed images, invented traditions, published sources, created professorships for national history, and finally implemented history teaching about the fatherland as a core component of compulsory education.
Then a radical shift occurs. In the treatment of John A. Macdonald, agency is far better articulated than for any other actor, individual or collective. He ‘had visions of a united country’, and a means to accomplish his vision: the Canadian Pacific Railroad. Confederation, 26 Beyond the Canon that is, Canada, was the creation of Macdonald. While Robert names the Chinese in relation to the railroad, he has not expressed any active agency on their part: rather it is the impersonal, ‘massive immigration from China’ that was responsible for the completion of the project.