Global Summit on Facing the Violent Past

21 - 25 October 2019
Stellenbosch, South Africa

FACING HISTORY AND OURSELVES convened a Global Summit on Facing the Violent Past in October 2019 to examine the role of history education in supporting peacebuilding, positive intergroup and intragroup relations, and the processes of democratization.

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Why This Topic?

All countries have violent histories. Yet few have done the work of facing these histories and their legacies. This neglect is particularly pronounced in the education sector, where curricula and professional development have rarely been devoted to this important work. In divided societies around the world, many identity-based conflicts are connected to historical events that have not been acknowledged or repaired. As time passes, citizens are confronted not only with the primary conflicts they have inherited, but also with the legacies of those conflicts and the failure to redress them. These divisions threaten national stability and security and undermine democracy. They also are often linked to contemporary injustice and inequality.

We believe that history education provides a critical medium for redress and repair. We also believe that good history education brings an interdisciplinary approach to exploring human behavior; it engages issues of identity, membership, and belonging; it provides examples of upstanders, bystanders, and perpetrators; and it emphasizes ethical judgment as well as the skills, dispositions, and knowledge of a historian.

We look forward to sharing what we learn with you.

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Holtzmann Family Scholar-in-Residence, 2019

Jonathan Jansen

Jonathan Jansen is Distinguished Professor of Education at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. In 2016/17 he was a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, and in 2018/9 will be a Fellow at the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Studies. He is currently President of the South African Institute of Race Relations and President of the South African Academy of Science. In 2013, he was awarded the Education Africa Lifetime Achiever Award in New York, the Spendlove Award from the University of California for his contributions to tolerance, democracy, and human rights, and he also won the largest book award from the British Academy for the Social Sciences and Humanities for his book, Knowledge in the Blood (published by Stanford University Press).

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