“Our beloved Motherland”: identifying cycles of nationalism through Chilean school textbooks (c1938-c.1985). An approach from the history of emotions.

Dr  Pablo Andrés Toro Blanco, Department of History, Universidad Alberto Hurtado, Chile will give a presentation at the GEI, Conference Room (Villa) on June 10th, at 18.00

"Nationalism has been a frequent subject to historians dealing with textbooks analysis in Latin America. Researchers have paid attention to numerous foci like (among others) curriculum, teaching of history, educational policies, historical conscience and political manipulation through schools. Michael Rickenberg and his colleagues (1991) opened an academic path that has been followed in recent years by authors like Matthias von Hau (2009), whose research has a comparative perspective regarding to Mexico, Argentina y Peru on twentieth century. Studies with more traditional methods have been made about the Chilean case (Serrano and Sagredo 1994; Olivares 2005; Toro Blanco 2010). The aim of this presentation is to shed light on Chilean textbooks regarding to nationalism by means of applying a complementary perspective, based on a recent theoretical insight: history of emotions. Hence, emotional propositions and inductions in textbooks are detected, analysed and placed in their specific context. One of our main assertions is that the existence of several cycles of educational nationalism during the period under study was reflected in contrasting (but not totally different) styles and emphasis on emotional appeals to students.            

There is a remarkable interest in the study of emotions as shaping elements of social and cultural relations in recent historiography on education, as Noah Sobe´s overview has shown (2010). In this context, this paper aims to identify and characterize the presence and eventual dominance of specific emotions in the literature and textbooks used in public education in Chile for nearly half a century, specifics topics on nationalism. We seek to establish a dialogue between those emotional repertoires, available in the literature employed to train children and youth, and pedagogical discourse about desirable emotions, the latter with close relations with emerging transnational youth models. Our theoretical approach dialogues with Peter Stearns’ concept of “emotionology” (1985) and William Reddy´s notion of “emotional regime” as well.

Thus, questions that guide our presentation are: how are encouraged, by means of textbooks, certain emotions, like nationalism and patriotism, in students at different times? What appropriations, influences, and models of relationship between emotion and nationalism are possible to recognize through school textbooks during nearly a half century of development of the Chilean educational system?"