History has never been as present in our daily lives as it is today.
Through any number of media outlets, tens of millions of people are in daily contact with historical discourses and practices. Between games, informational articles, social media posts and other sources, history is everyhere—in Civilization VI, “life-size” role-playing games, The Berlin Trilogy, The Iron Throne, and the works of Tolkien or Satrapi. It’s in cultural productions that evoke events or phenomena that happened or are still happening (Assassin's Creed Unity, SLĀV and Kanata, Gone With the Wind).
This rise in popularity of history, along with an unprecedented access to social platforms, provide opposing and irreconcilable views of what should be commemorated (or debunked), of decolonization and reconciliation, and of other historical and social justice questions such as the elimination of police brutality and racism.
How can we help our youth develop the critical thinking they need to address these questions?
Reflecting on the use of works of non-academic history in the classroom, the authors of this book explore the use of popular or public history in the classroom to teach historical thinking that will enable students to become informed and engaged citizens.
Julien Bazile (Contributor) Julien Bazile holds a PhD in Information and Communication Sciences from the University of Lorraine within the CREM (Centre de Recherche sur les Médiations). He also holds a PhD in History from the University of Sherbrooke (QC, Canada). His doctoral research project focused on the narration of history in video games, particularly within the action-adventure game Assassin's Creed (Ubisoft, 2007). This research aims to shed light on the logics at work in the creation of historical video games and the issues related to this creative process. A graduate in contemporary history from the University of Lorraine, he seeks to inscribe his work in an interdisciplinary logic, to question the process of creation of these historical games with regard to the duty of rigourous historical research, the limitations due to the game's medium, and the economic, cultural and commercial imperatives linked to the functioning of the video game industry. Finally, it is a question of observing what the historical discourse represents from a historiographical point of view, in order to see how the video game can be considered a writing medium that works on our relationship to history.
Etienne Anheim (Contributor) Born in 1973, former student of the ENS Fontenay/St-Cloud (1993-1998), agrégé d'histoire (1996), doctor of history (2004), former member and then CNRS researcher at the École française de Rome (2002-2006), Etienne Anheim’s work first focused on the history of scholarly culture in the late Middle Ages, in particular on scholasticism and polyphonic music, and continued with his doctoral dissertation on culture (music, painting, literary and theological production) at the court of Avignon under the reign of Pope Clement VI (1342-1352).
His research currently focuses more on the economic, social, and material history of painting as well as, more broadly, on the history of written practices between the 13th and 15th centuries, from literary figures such as Petrarch to library inventories and accounting records, while at the same time addressing questions of historiography and the epistemology of history.
Anheim is a member of the editorial boards of the Revue de Synthèse, Médiévales and Annales.
Vincent Boutonnet (Contributor) Vincent Boutonnet has been a professor of social sciences and humanities didactics at the Université du Québec en Outaouais (UQO) since May 2013. He is interested in the epistemological progression of future history teachers during internships (research funded by the FRQSC), but also in the practices of humanities and social sciences teachers as well as their use of resources such as textbooks, iconographic documents or digital documents. He conducts analyses of cultural products such as historical films and video games (research funded by SSHRC). He is a member of several funded teams working on agentivity and citizenship education (DiSEC group) as well as on the use of textbooks and digital technology in secondary school history and geography classes. He is an associate researcher at the Centre de Recherche Interuniversitaire sur la Formation et la Profession Enseignante (CRIFPE).
Penney Clark (Contributor) Penney Clark is Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy. Dr. Clark’s research interests centre on the production and provision of elementary-high school textbooks in historical contexts, the historical development of history and social studies curricula in Canada, and history teaching and learning. She has published widely in these areas. S) She has been awarded the Canadian History of Education Association Founders Prize (2012) (with co-authors Mona Gleason and Stephen Petrina) and again in 2022 (sole author). She has also been awarded the Canadian Association of Foundations in Education Publication Prize (2013) (with graduate student Wayne Knights). Her most recent major publication (with Alan Sears) is The Arts and the Teaching of History: Historical F(r)ictions (Palgrave MacMillan, 2020.) She has served in multiple leadership roles in the department and beyond. Department roles include Deputy Head, Graduate Coordinator, Undergraduate Coordinator, and Social Studies Area Chair. Along with Dr. Mona Gleason, Dr. Clark completed a five-year term as co-editor of Historical Studies in Education/Revue d’histoire de l’éducation in 2020 and she currently serves on the Board of this journal. She served as President of the Canadian History of Education Association (CHEA) (2010-12), on the Council of the Bibliographical Society of Canada (2012-15) and is currently serving on the SSHRC Awards to Scholarly Publications (ASPP) Committee.
Dr. Clark is currently co-lead of the Curriculum and Resources cluster in the “Thinking Historically for Canada’s Future” project that was recently awarded a $2.5 million SSHRC Partnership Grant (2019-2026).
Olivier Côté (Contributor) Olivier Côté has been Curator of Media and Communications since 2015. This field encompasses postal history, the media (print, radio, film, television, the Internet and social media), transportation and advertising. He focuses on contemporary Canada, particularly on the concepts of myth, memory and nationhood, and the evolution of national identity. He is currently a member of the team that is developing the Canadian History Hall, which is scheduled to open in 2017.
In 2014, Olivier Côté published Construire la nation au petit écran, a monograph on the television documentary series Canada: A People’s History produced by the CBC. As a media historian, he is interested in the impact of mass communications on the understanding of history, the collective imagination and political cynicism. His current research explores Canadian television as a vehicle for modernity and identification with the nation in the 1950s and 1960s.
Olivier Côté has a Bachelor’s degree in History from Laval University, a Master’s degree from York University and a PhD from Laval University. He is a founding member of the website HistoireEngagee.ca.
Stéphanie Demers (Contributor) Stéphanie Demers holds a PhD in Educational Foundations from the Université du Québec à Montréal. A professor-researcher in the Department of Education at the Université du Québec en Outaouais (UQO) from 2011 to 2021, she has taught the History and Theories of Education and Foundations and Theories of Learning courses at the Bachelor of Education and Master of Education levels.
Her research, rooted in social theory and critical pedagogy, focuses on agentivity in teaching cultures and practices at all levels, particularly with regard to the development of agentivity in the face of knowledge of teachers and students, the construction of relationships to knowledge in a university context, and the consideration of socio-school injustices.
She is currently co-piloting a research project on the effects of a pedagogical community of practice in a university context.
Simon Dor (Contributor) Simon Dor is an associate professor in video game studies at the Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT), at the Montreal centre.
Professor Dor is particularly interested in strategy games, approaching them from the point of view of their playability, their history, their competitive or narrative experience, the cognition they imply and the representation they induce. However, his research and teaching have also led him to take an interest in e-sports, immersion, ethics, emulators and game design. He has been blogging about his research for many years (www.simondor.com) and uses contemporary video game broadcasting tools—Twitch and YouTube—to better understand what these new objects imply about video game culture and to disseminate his research.
Alexandre Lanoix (Contributor) Alexandre Lanoix holds a doctorate in social studies didactics from the Université de Montréal. His research focuses on the place the concept of nation occupies within the teaching of history and the social representations of history teachers. For several years, he has been involved in the initial training and professional development of elementary and secondary social studies teachers.
Anik Meunier (Contributor) Anik Meunier is a full professor of education and museology at the Université du Québec à Montréal. She is the director of the Groupe de recherche sur l'éducation et les musées (GREM). She is particularly interested in issues related to museum education. She also founded and directs the collection "Culture et publics" at the Presses de l'Université du Québec.
Sabrina Moisan (Contributor) Sabrina Moisan is a professor in the Department of Pedagogy at the Faculty of Education, Université de Sherbrooke. She works on history teaching and citizenship education and is particularly interested in representations of "national" history in Quebec and the challenges of teaching an inclusive history in a pluralistic society.
Carla Peck (Contributor) Carla L. Peck is Professor of Social Studies Education in the Department of Elementary Education. Carla joined the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta in 2007. Her program of research has two main foci: The first seeks to map the qualitatively different ways that teachers’ and students’ understand key democratic concepts such as diversity, and citizenship. The second area of her research is on students’ historical understandings, and in particular, the relationship between students’ ethnic identities and their understandings of history. Before moving west, Carla taught elementary school in New Brunswick.
Bastien Sasseville (Contributor) Professor in didactics of the social universe and director of the secondary education module at the Université du Québec à Rimouski, Bastien Sasseville is interested in cinema as a didactic resource for teaching history and developing historical thinking in students.
Alan Sears (Contributor) Alan Sears is Professor Emeritus at the Faculty of Education, University of New Brunswick. His research interests are in civic education, history education, and teacher education. holds a Bachelor of Education in History and English (1977) and a Master of Education in Social Studies Curriculum (1985) from the University of New Brunswick. He earned his Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Studies from the University of British Columbia (1996).
He joined UNB’s Faculty of Education as Assistant Professor in 1988, was granted tenure in 1996, and promoted to Professor in 1997. He served as Acting Dean of the Faculty of Education for a brief period in 2002, and as Associate Dean of Graduate Programs, Research and International Development within the Faculty of Education from 1999 to 2002.
Dr. Sears’s most significant area of impact and contribution is in curriculum, policy, and practice in Citizenship Education and History Education. He has an outstanding record of national research grants, is widely published, and his work is regularly cited.
Valérie Theis (Contributor) Valérie Theis is a professor of medieval history. She is a member of the Institute of Modern and Contemporary History (IHMC-UMR 8066) and is currently the deputy director of the ENS for the Humanities and Social Sciences.
She works on the political and social history of Europe, from the central Middle Ages to the early modern period.
She is particularly interested in the development of the use of writing for governmental purposes, with a predilection for the study of accounting, the history of medieval archives and the history of surveys. Until now, her work has mainly been based on papal archives and on the archives of local communities in the south of France and Italy.
Through the study of this documentation, the aim is to work on different scales on the social effects of the policies of territorial domination and government of the populations developed by the institutions exercising temporal power, to study the social milieus that oversaw the implementation of these policies, and to try to grasp what representations of space and territories were expressed in the writings that they produced.
Based on medieval accounts, she has also worked on the economic and social history of the construction industry from a long-term perspective.
Marc-André Éthier (Editor) Marc-André Éthier, Ph.D., is a professor of Didactics of History (Université de Montréal) and a researcher at Centre de recherche interuniversitaire sur la formation et la profession enseignante. His research focuses on the development, by students, of skills related to historical thought, as well as on the nature of teachers' disciplinary skills and their transposition in the classroom.
David Lefrançois (Editor) David Lefrançois, Ph.D., is a professor of Educational Sciences (Université du Québec en Outaouais) and a researcher at Centre de recherche interuniversitaire sur la formation et la profession enseignante. His research and publications examine school program content and the methods used to teach and assess learning in elementary and secondary social sciences teaching.