Reading with and against the Grain: A Comparison of History Textbooks from the Pacific Rim

Fellow: Hijoo Son, Instructor in History and Social Sciences

Focus Area: Equity & Inclusion

Project Overview

By examining how history textbooks across the Pacific Rim (including South Korea, Japan, China, and the U.S.) narrate history, students will read various contesting and contentious narratives that bring light to the ongoing debate on history writing and rewriting. To what extent can comparative reading of textbooks in translation as primary sources be helpful in cultivating global Andover students? How can such readings help us envisage a multiply-situated Asia, one that presents particular challenges in today’s geopolitical world as China reclaims its hegemony, Japan reignites debates about militarization, and a still-divided (post) Cold War Korea becomes a battleground again? Simply, what do Asian high school students learn vis-à-vis U.S. students in history textbooks?