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Can the subaltern nation speak by herself in the history curriculum?

Sant, E (2016) Can the subaltern nation speak by herself in the history curriculum? Educational Studies. ISSN 1532-6993 (In Press)


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This article examines and discusses the ways in which hegemonic and subaltern discourses alternatively evoke different, and sometimes competing, notions of “the nation” and how they might productively coexist within the history curriculum. More precisely, using Homi Bhabha’s conceptual tools of pedagogic and performative narratives of the nation, the paper examines history curriculum as permeable to alternative and endless re-inventions of the nation and as intrinsically linked to a fixed, stable and officialised narrative. The study, based on the analysis of the construction of the Catalan nationhood in school textbooks and teachers’ and museums’ resources in Catalonia (Spain), suggests complex dynamics between hegemonic and subaltern discourses rather than fixed conceptualisations. Whereas revolutionary discursive depictions of the nation incorporated in the curriculum have a tendency to be officialised, institutionalized and domesticated through their mediation in educational texts, the article suggests possibilities for more effectively building the subaltern voice within the school curriculum.

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