Clio in the Balkans

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Book edited by Prof. Christina Koulouri,

Published by CDRSEE, Thessaloniki, 2002


Christina Koulouri (ed.), Clio in the Balkans.
The Politics of History Education, CDRSEE, Thessaloniki 2002, 550 p.

  • Clio in the Balkans - the complete book, pdf file, 10 Mb

  • Preface by Costa Carras (pdf file, 14 Kb)
  • Intruduction by Christina Koulouri (pdf file, 108 Kb)
  • Review published in "Fundament" magazine, Macedonian languge, November 21st 2003
    • page 1 (jpg file, cca 124 kb)
    • page 2 (jpg file, cca 216 kb)
    • page 3 (jpg file, cca 200 kb)
  • Book Review by Dr. Kofos Evangelos

This book includes a selection of papers delivered from December 1999 to December 2000 at seven workshops held by the History Education Committee of the CDRSEE under the title "Teaching sensitive and controversial issues in the history of South-East Europe". 48 authors from all SEE countries and Western Europe are the contributors of this volume.

Specifically, this edition comprises four kinds of texts: (a) general information on educational systems in the Balkan countries, the system of textbook authorisation and production and the position of history in the syllabus -teaching hours, the subject matter taught in each grade, the proportions of national, Balkan, European and international history, the subject's compulsory or optional status (Appendix); (b) papers analysing history textbooks on the basis of a standard questionnaire for each workshop, or presenting other aspects of national historiography, identity formation and the role of education; (c) reports on each workshop, with the discussions and conclusions arrived at by the participants, and (d) responses to specific questions in the questionnaires, from a comparative viewpoint (i.e. answers given to the same question in different countries).

The first chapter, "Common Past, Shared History", refers to these common pasts which can form the basis of a shared history, namely the two Balkan empires, Byzantine and Ottoman, the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Former Yugoslavia. Although the common Yugoslavian history was replaced after 1990 by rival ethnocentric histories, former Yugoslavia is a common past for the states created after its disintegration.

The second chapter, "National and Religious Identities Co-existing or Conflicting?", investigates firstly the example of Macedonia as an issue of division for the national histories of the countries which include (or used to include) some part of it. Secondly, the papers on religious identities become doubly topical as they deal with issues of correlating religious differences with ethnic conflicts and religious education with tolerance.

The third chapter, "The Past in the Mirror of the Present", deals with the two issues in SE Europe which remain open, at least at the time this publication was in print. Firstly the case of Cyprus where the division of the island translates into a deep rupture in historical narrative. Secondly, the case of Albania and Albanian populations outside the national state. Both cases are related to recent traumatic memories - war, death, refugees.