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A8 Teaching Identity (project completed)

Teaching Identity: Re-shaping the Citizen in Chinese and Japanese Language History Schoolbooks in Manchuria (1931-1945)

Coordination: Gotelind Müller-Saini, Wolfgang Seifert

Abstract

Teaching Identity: Re-shaping the Citizen in Chinese and Japanese Language History Schoolbooks in Manchuria (1931-1945)

The project A8 “Teaching Identity” deals with the question of national narratives and identity formation in history textbooks in East Asia. It focuses on Manchuria in the 1930s and early 1940s which was a testing ground for creating and re-shaping the citizens’ identity between Japanese, Chinese and “Manchurian” interests. This is reflected in the way history was taught in schools. The issue of a constructed “Manchurian” identity emerges in a twofold manner which will be contrasted with contemporaneous identity constructions taught to the Chinese outside Manchuria and the different ethnic groups in the Japanese run puppet regime of Manchukuo. The overlapping and shifting identity discourses point to a contested process of claiming power over definition of the “citizen” between the “puppet Manchukuo” state authorities, the Japanese state and local/regional actors in a quasi-colonial setting. Apart from discourse analysis, structural conditions, i.e. mainly the educational policies and the contesting interests on the textbook production side will be analysed. The assumed “hidden” transfers of European models (be it in textbook content or visualisation, be it in colonial education structures, pedagogy or curricula) will be given special attention.

The project´s scope consists in two Ph.D. dissertation fellowships (2009-2012).

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