monograph on British poetry anthologies from the Renais-
sance until the twentieth century.
Billie Melman is Professor of History, Henry Glasberg Chair of European
Studies and Director of the Graduate School of Historical Studies at Tel
Aviv University. She is author of The CultureofHistory: English Uses of
the Past, 1800-1953 (2006) and Women’s Orient: English Women and the
Middle East, 1718-1918 (1992) and co-editor, with Stefan Berger and Chris
Lorenz, of Popularizing National Pasts 1800 to the Present (2012).
Philipp Müller is Lecturer at University
certain segments of the past significant and useful for their present
concerns and interpretative needs. »Culturesofhistory«, according to Billie
Melman (2006: 11), are »cultures at work«; they make »versions of history
meaningful and workable for individuals within the constrictions of society,
the economy, and the state«, and they do so »both in a social and material
world and in their imaginary« (Melman 2006: 4). Historical cultures today
draw from a wide range of media and forms, notably those with a main-
stream or even ›popular‹ appeal.2
Dur Sharru-Kin) and Nineveh (›modern‹
Kuyunjik). The fall of the Assyrian Empires may foreshadow the burden of
the modern empire and its future.
The colossi’s odyssey showcases at least four characteristics of the mul-
tiple reproductions and uses of antiquity in modernity. The first character-
istic is the sheer physical dimension of Assyria, the materiality which an-
cient history acquired in modernity. This materiality characterized the new
popular cultureofhistory which emerged in Britain after 1800: Traces and
remains of the past became visible to
identical with the second half of a presenta-
tion given at the conference “Opening Historical Reconciliation in East
Asia through Historical Dialogue” in Seoul in October 2007, meanwhile
published (Borries 2009).
2 The typology presented here was introduced by myself some years ago
(see Borries 2008: 121-137). It is the result of theoretical reflections as
well as of observations and qualitative empirical studies in the cultureofhistory (autobiographies, novels, interviews, historical narrations).
BODO VON BORRIES
b. The history of the winners and
can now look at
photographs as historical evidence in ways less burdened by the critical
debates about indexicality.
The obsession with indexicality, it should now be clear, which persisted
into twentieth-century structuralism and therefore into a canon of texts on
how to interpret photographs, was only one marker of an incredibly vital
era of visual culture. In The CultureofHistory, Billie Melman depicts the
long-term British fascination with the material culture of the Tudors as an
expression of a popular historical consciousness that gravitated towards
individual’s and a
group’s orientation in life. Teaching history in a (self-)reflective way
BODO VON BORRIES
does not mean teaching (nor enforcing) special knowledge, conclusions,
opinions and attitudes, but stimulating and promoting participation in
the cultureofhistory (using [re]presentations of history), building one’s
own historical identity (definition of self and groups in the course of
time) and improving one’s historical competence (developed abilities
and willingness of thinking historically) (see Körber et al. 2007;
Schreiber/Körber 2006) 1. The
ing to develop a self-consciousness of history and a use of history
which supports the democratic political culture?
• How can theoretical insights about the consciousness of history, the
use of history and the cultureofhistory be transformed into concrete
methods of teaching?
• How can an improvement of the level of historical reflection about
WWII and the Holocaust be adequately described and evaluated?
The intention of this book is to combine scholarly work and empirical
examples in the fields of historical consciousness, history culture and
Staging of Rough Crossings«. Atlantic Studies 6.2, pp. 191-206.
Meikle, James/Peter Walker (2009): »Hundreds of Thousands Log in to
View Digitalised 1911 Census«. In: The Guardian, 13 January 2009
Mellor, Adrian (1991): »Enterprise and Heritage in the Dock«. In: Corner/
Harvey (1991), pp. 93-115.
Melman, Billie (2006): The CultureofHistory: English Uses of the Past,
1800-1953, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Metaxas, Eric (2007): Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic
past” to be used throughout the article are to a certain extent chosen in
line with the argumentation put forward by Karlsson in his discussion on
the concept of historical consciousness and the analytical operationaliza-
tion into “historical culture” and “uses of history” (See the contribution
by Karlsson). Still, within this specific context I find “culture of
memory” more appropriate, as the concept of memory alludes more to
the private, un-official ways of using and presenting the past than does
the concept of the cultureofhistory. Moreover
(Barkan 2000: XV-XXI). Historical communities identify them-
selves as victims or as guilty. Representation of victimization and guilt
appear in public history, also called the cultureofhistory, which in-
cludes collective memories, ritual commemorations, monuments, cultur-
al products and schoolbook texts. The representations may be positively
assuring for the members of a community but provocative to others.
They may even ignite history wars, as, for example, the heated debates
about the schoolbook representations of the Second World War between
China and Japan