Palgrave Studies in Educational Media

There is no education without some form of media. Much contemporary writing on media and education examines best practices or individual learning processes, is fired by techno-optimism or techno-pessimism about young people’s use of technology, or focuses exclusively on digital media. Relatively few studies attend – empirically or conceptually – to the embeddedness of educational media in contemporary cultural, social and political processes. The Palgrave Studies in Educational Media series aims to explore textbooks and other educational media as sites of cultural contestation and socio-political forces. Drawing on local and global perspectives, and attending to the digital, non-digital and post-digital, the series explores how these media are entangled with broader continuities and changes in today’s society, with how media and media practices play a role in shaping identifications, subjectivations, inclusions and exclusions, economies and global political projects. Including single authored and edited volumes, it offers a dedicated space which brings together research from across the academic disciplines. The series provides a valuable and accessible resource for researchers, students, teachers, teacher trainers, textbook authors and educational media designers interested in critical and contextualising approaches to the media used in education.

Series Editors:

Eckhardt Fuchs and Felicitas Macgilchrist

Managing Editor:

Wendy Anne Kopisch

We welcome proposals for both single-authored and edited volumes that examine educational media in their cultural and socio-political contexts. If you are interested in publishing your manuscript with us, please contact

Europe in the Classroom

This book provides an unconventional account of post-1989 education reform in Romania. By drawing on policy documentation, interviews with key players, qualitative data from everyday school contexts, and extensive textbook analysis, this groundbreaking study reveals that change within the Romanian education system is a process that institutionalises world culture through symbolic mediation of the concept ‘Europe’. The book reveals that the education system’s structural and organisational evolution through time is decoupled from its self-depiction by ultimately serving a nation-building agenda. It does so despite notable changes in the discourse reflecting increasingly transnational definitions of the mission of the school in the post-1989 era. The book also reveals that the notions of ‘nation’ and ‘citizen’ institutionalised by the school are gradually being redefined as cosmopolitan, matching post-war patterns of post-national affiliations.

Simona Szakács is a postdoctoral researcher at the Georg Eckert Institute. Her research is focused on the interplay between Europeanization, global cultural change, and post-socialist transformation from a transnational, wider-world perspective.

Multiple Alterities

This book highlights and examines the role of the textbook in legitimising established political and social orders. It analyses the way in which the ‘other’ is presented in school textbooks, focusing on  a number of countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, and argues that the role of textbooks in developing and maintaining a national identity should be afforded greater critical attention. Textbooks can help form national identities by developing a society’s collective memory; this might involve a historical narrative which may be self-contradictory or even fabricated to a certain extent, including myths, symbols and collective memories that divide “us” from “them”, and ultimately resulting in a dichotomy between the Self and the Other.

As well as addressing a range of theoretical questions relating to the study of textbooks generally, the volume also covers a broad spectrum of Middle Eastern states and societies, with contributions from Turkey, Iran, Egypt, Cyprus, Lebanon, Iraq, Kurdistan, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, Israel and Palestine. It will be essential reading for researchers and students working in the fields of Education, Sociology and History, particularly those with an interest in national identities in the MENA region.    

Elie Podeh is Professor of the Department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, and President of the Middle East and Islamic Studies Association of Israel (MEISAI). His research interests include Middle Eastern history, politics and education.  

Samira Alayan is Senior Lecturer and Researcher at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel and Lecturer and Teacher Trainer at the David Yellin Teacher College, Jerusalem, Israel. Her research interests include education in conflict societies as well as textbooks and identities in the Middle East.