(Re)Constructing Memory Volume 1
School Textbooks and the Imagination of the Nation
(Re)constructing Memory: School Textbooks and the Imagination of the Nation, the first volume in a series, considers the relationship between school textbooks and the state. Schooling is one of the core institutions of the nation-state. The histories of mass schooling and the rise of the nation-state are closely intertwined. Textbooks offer official or semiofficial narratives of the founding and development of a state, and their stories play a formative role in helping construct the collective memory of a people. This volume is premised on the idea that changes in textbooks often reflect attempts by the state to deal with challenges to its identity or legitimacy. We look at ways textbooks are used to legitimatize the state—to help consolidate its identity and maintain continuity in times of rapid change and external threat. This volume also considers the challenges of maintaining national identities in a global context and of retaining legitimacy by reimagining national identity.