12.1 - Morris-Suzuki, Tessa. 'Towards a Political Economy...

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Unformatted text preview: Morris-Suzuki, Tessa. 'Towards a Political Economy of Historical Truthfulness’ Chapter 7 of The Past Wirhin Us: Media, Memory, History. London and New York: Verso Books, 2005. | COi‘v’ii‘ini‘iWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA l . . . l Copyright Regulations 1 969 1 Warning This material has been reproduced and communicated to you by or on behalf of the University of Melbourne pursuant to Part VB of the Copyright Act 1968 {the Act). The material in this communication may be subject to copyright under the Act. Any further copying or communication of this material by you may be the subject of copyright protection under the Act. Do not remove this notice - x0 “.a-W Mornscjm/a/ 7%a_ /A2 “WA/7% J meg/a Memo [/fljaby‘fnfgvdhn fln/ MW W60; 2009. ‘r 228 THE PAST WITHIN US Independence Hall of Korea, discussed in Chapter 1) how operate in two or even three languages at once, while others use translatedmaterial as an integral part of their archives. One interesting instance is the Teachers’ Virtual School in the UK, whose educational material for teaching the history of the First World War includes a substantial section of translated material from the early twentieth—century‘german satirical magazines Sivgblidm‘mm and R's/addemdaz‘rr/b, introducing: students to the diversity of opinion which existed in Germany at the time of the war (Teachers’ Virtual School 2001). Developing online sites which use translated media material in this way can help to bridge the enduring trench that often runs through historical knowledge, maintaining hostilities between former enemies as each learns an inward—focused version of the national past. 7 Towards a Political Economy of. Historical Truthfulness June 28, 1989 was the six-hundredth anniversary of theJBattle of Kosova Polje, the conflict in which the Serbian forces of 'Prince Lazar were defeated by the Ottoman Empire. The commemorative ceremony marking the anniversary was attended by the entire leadership of what was then the Yugoslav Federation, but u- in a carefully scripted media event — the central role was played by Serbian Communist leader Slobodan Milosevic. As one account describes it: Meanwhile, addressing the crisis of history involves developing a Sensitivity to the way that media like the Internet shape our perceptions of the past. The teaching of history needs to empower students to use these media with creativity and imagination, but also with a critical awareness of their potential biases and limitations. The paths of the Net are sometimes dead ends, and sometimes filled with pitfalls, but navigated with care they can provide avenues for expanding the imagination. They enable us to cross-boundaries, to hear and assess contesting stories. 7 And sometimes (for this too is an important part of the encounter with history) they simply create a space for‘ our thoughts to ‘roam uneasily’. The commemoration had all the trappings of a coronation singed as a Hollywood extravaganza. Milosevic descended by helicopter from the heavens into the cheering crowd; the masses were the extras. The cameras focused on his arrival. In some vague way, the commentator placed Slobodan Milosevic at the center of the Serbian ancestral myth of Prince Lazar, the hero of the Kosova battle. Mosevié 1995, 107.) The anniversary celebrations marked ‘the crowning of Milosevic as the strongman of Serbia: and launched the irrevocable slide of the former Yugoslavia into war and genocide (Curuvija and Torov 1995, 85). 230 THE PAST WITHIN US The 1389 Battle of KOsova Polje was not the only historical event to be seized on by the media during the break-up of Yugoslavia. Franjo Tudjman, who became president of Croatia in 1990, had previously been a professor of history known for his controversial views on the Second World War (during which the Croatian regime of Ante Pavelié had collaborated with Nazi German y). Tudjman did not deny the horrors of the Holocaust, but he sought to relativize them by emphasizing ‘the timeless universality of genocidal acts‘ '(Tudjman I996, 121). His particular contribution to the historiography of oblivion was an account of the Second World War which claimed that the number of deaths in the Jasenovac camp in Croatia Yugoslav Jews had died, was Tanner 1997, 152-4 53 and 205). Serbian television , where many Serbs and greatly exaggerated (Tudjman 1996; As Tudjman’s political influence grew, responded by broadcasting programmes which argued, on the contrary, that official history had concealed the extent of Wartime massacres of Serbs by Croats. Television cameras recorded the opening—up of mass graves of the victims of Second World War massacres, and the reburial of their remains. Reminders of the gruesome killings of Serbs at Jasenovac and elsewhere rekindled old hatreds and intensified Serb fears of resurgent Croat nationalism. Meanwhile, Croatian television also began demonizing the wartime behaviour of the Serbs and presenting the Croats as the true victims — victims of Communist propaganda (Milosevic 1995, 109— 110; Tanner 1997, 233). 3 The Lessons of Kosova Polie I cite these examples from the Yugoslav tragedy because they illustrate, in rather extreme form, key concerns of this book. One is the fact that, in a multimedia age, people’s knowledge of the past is framed not just by formal history education, but also by representations of history in ‘ ‘-_\_.. 'J. use - 5 ‘ 'l A POLITICAL ECONOMY OF HISTORICAL TRUTHFULNESS 23 photographs, film, television, the Internet and so on. These media 0: historical representation often have great power to evoke a sense 0 identification between past and present, but in so domg they may also offer potent implicit interpretations of the relationship between history and contemporary society. The televised spectacle _of Slobodan MJlosevic descending by helicopter onto the spot where Prince Lazar was slain in battle, for example, not only cast Milosevic in the role of hetr to the hero of Serb history, but also, in the "minds of many viewers, linked fourteenth—century Chfisfian Serb resistance to the Ottoman empire with the contemporary conflict between Chnsttan Serbs and Muslim Kosovar Albanians. Revived memories of wartime atrocities evoked a mistrust of neigthuring communities, and (sitcom-aged people to respond more violently than they might otherwise have done to emerging political tensions, for fear of {the Violence which. they anticipated from their old enemies. In the case of Serbia and Croatia, the p0wer of television to disseminate two radically different verstons of history was particularly great because television in both places was heavily influenced by the state, and worsening economip conditions made it difficult for people to afford other sources of information. The situation provoked Serb student protesters in 1992 to com the slogan ‘Turn off your TV and open your eyes!’ (Milosevic 1995, 12-1). - Even in situations where the media are less open to obvtous manipu— lation, their impact on the way the past is understood, for better or worse, is both subtle and profound. As we saw in Chapter 6, for example, many people in the United States know of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki primarily from media such as novels, comic books, films or TV. My argument here, however, is that It makes little sense to deny or lament the impact of media upon memory. Rather, what matters is that history education should empower people to use the varied media of twenty—first—century society c1itically and creatively to develop their own understanding of the past. The message, 232 THE PAST WITHIN US a in other words, might be rephrased as ‘Turn on your but open your eyes’. That is to say, understanding the possibilities, limitations and communicative codes of various media —- including of course, conven- tional history textbooks, and including this book itself — is an essential part of learning to understand the past. In a multimedia age, this involves not simply looking at separate media in isolation (as part of literary studies, film studies and. so on) but also considering how they interact and resonate with one another to shape our visions of history. The example of the former Yugoslavia reminds us just how important this is. History has shaped all the social patterns in which we live: family, school, work, community, state, global order, as well as shaping the ideas which we have about these patterns. Without under- standing something of how such things have come into being, we cannot begin to imagine how they might be changed. Contemporary political decisions around the world are based upon conceptions of history. All wars are fought over differing interpretations of the past. In the former Yugoslavia thousands of people were killed by their former neighbours, driven to hatred and revenge by one—sided interpretations of history, and by fears that their nightmare vision of the past would repeat itself. TherYugoslav example also reminds us of another crucial feature of history in the twenty-first century. In an age of complex global interaction, historical knowledge can no longer simply be contained within national boundaries. The wars in the former Yugoslavia evoked international responses, ranging from diplomatic pressure and humani— tarian aid to military intervention. So, during the 19905, voters in France, the United States, Australia, Japan, the Philippines and a host of other about appropriate responses to the conflict were impossible without some knowledge of the history of Ottoman colonization, previous . ._ . ._.._ ._.._ _,r,,,-.-.=-..c«_1=.ww:=-.=-_-.:=_-i-.,. l‘i-‘fi. . K, 93a ‘ _ A POLITICAL ECONOMY OF HISTORICAL TRUTHFULNESS 233 ,- Baikan wars, German occupation and the postwar federation, which had shaped the present of the region. Knowing very little of Yugoslavaas history, many people’s emotional responses to the crisis were guided by memories of other, better known historical events. Photographs and film of desperate refugees huddled in farm carts as they fled from genocide were seen by many viewers around the world through the interpretive lens of the memory of similar images from past wars-Thus the NATO military intervention which followed acts of genocrde 1n Kosova was clearly influenced by memories in Western Europe and the United States of the prewar failures of governments to respond to the genocide of the Jews in 1940s Germany. . It is, of course, impossible for history education to provrde students with a detailed knowledge of the history of the whole world. History teaching in schools almost inevitably concentrates most on the issues which are of most obvious relevance to students: the history of their own country and neighbouring countries, of the most powerful nations and the most dramatic events of recent centuries. But the study of the past can also do something else —— something of crucial importancein the contemporary world. It can nurture curiosity about history, and gtve students the ability to use diverse media to explore the past: and to keep on exploring long after they have left formal education behind them. In this way, even if they have been taught nothing about the background to an event like the Balkans war, people in many countries will be better equipped to ask questions, to acquire knowledge about its causes, and to develop informed opinions about how governments and international organizations should respond. \ History and Truth The notions of questioning and informed opinion are intimately connected to the problem of historical truthfulness. The wide range of ' 234 THE PAST WITHIN us 4 ideas loosely summed up under the heading ‘postmoderriism’ has provoked much debate about the problem of historical truth, not all of it particularly helpful. Both some enthusiasts and some critics of postmodernism are too quick to draw a sharp dividing line between a pre-postmodern age, when facts reigned supreme and historical truth was unproblematic, and a postmodern age, when all history is‘narrative and all narratives are equal. As I have argued earlier, though, there is nothing new about the idea that history involves the representation of the past, and that this representation can never be ‘the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth’. What various forms of postmodern thought have done is to make us more sensitive than before to the complexities of representing the past in words or images. They remind us that the very words used to speak abont the past (‘civilization’, ‘progress’, ‘century’, ‘society’, ‘memory’) carry their own burden of history. Postmodern writings illuminate the fact that the lines we draw around particular pasts -— the spatial lines around national, regional or civilizational history and the temporal lines around eras like the Middle Ages or modernity — are mental constructions, and that the texture of the past looks very different when the lines are redrawn. And they remind us that the same events can generate many different narratives, each with its own internal ‘regime of truth’. All this should challenge us to deeper thought about the relationship between representation and truth, rather than (as sometimes seems to happen) evoking a detached and casual cynicism aboiit the possibility of truthfulness. Such cynicism, I think, is only possible when we forget the fact that thought, feeling and action are irrevoeably interconnected. Our knowledge of the past is of course made up of representations, which include ‘narratives’ in the conventional sense of the word, as well as non—narrative images such as photographs. But it is not jar: represen- tation. It is knowledge which shapes feelings and actions, and which is itself shaped by the experience of acting in the world. “we. flab- A POLITICAL ECONOMY OF HISTORiCi‘L TRUTHFULNESS 235 I My grandfather may tell me a story about the past, according to which the people in the village down the road were responsible for mass murder. The people in the village down the road may believe another story about the past, according to which it was actually my grandfather and his neighbours who were responsible. These are just two different narratives. Either or both can be recorded as oral traditions, treated as texts for doctoral research, incorporated into school textbooks or children’s comic books. Historians may reasonably insist that neither story tells the whole truth of what really happened, and that it is no longer possible to reconstruct the truth with perfect accuracy. But if they stop at that point — if they conclude that it does not matter which story I hear and believe, that only the social location of the narrator, the strength of narrator’s convictions or the internal coherence of the narrative matters — then I think they misconstrue the nature of historical knowledge. For when I walk down the road with a machine gun in my hands to exact revenge on the people of the next village, because I have heard my grandfather’s story of the past but not theirs, I step across the limits of the notion that history is merely narrative. I also step across the same limits if, without wielding a gun, I neither care nor act when disaster overtakes the people of the next village, because I have heard only my grandfather’s story, and believe that they are mass murders who deserve no sympathy. We are implicated in the events of the past because we live within the institutions, beliefs and structures that the past has created. But we are also implicated in the past because the past lives in us. The knowledge of history we have absorbed consciously or unconsciously through a host of media determines who we feel sympathy for, which contemporary events stir us to joy, compassion or anger, and how we respond to those events. But if historical knowledge is embedded in feeling and action, then it matters profoundly how people absorb, interpret and compare different i 236 THE PAST WITHIN US representations of the past, and how these representations relate to past events. In recent years, a number of scholars have come back to this question of the relationship between representation and event, searching for an approach to history which acknowledges the complexity of language and the. impossibility of perfect representation, ‘without lapsing into that detached scepticism where all narratives are seen as equally fictional. Philosopher Takahashi Tetsuya, fdr example, criticizes the view that the value of historical narratives can he judged without reference to the outside events that they describe. Efforts to assess the value of narratives by, for example, favouring the suppressed narratives of marginalized communities over the dominant narratives of majorities are inadequate: in the contemporary European context, Takahashi observes, Holocaust denial might be described as being the suppressed narrative of a minority, but this does not make it a valuable form of historical knowledge. Without some sense of ‘truth and untruth’ or ‘justice and injustice’, historical knowledge is incomplete (Takahashi 2001). In their book filling the Tattle Aheat Hirtogz, Joyce Appleby and others call for a ‘qualified objectivity’, which they define as an ‘interactive relationship between an inquiring subject and an external object’. Historians, they argue, cannot recapture the totality of the past. All they can do is create interpretations of the past based on the traces left in documents, material evidence, oral tradition and so on. The questions historians pose about these traces, and the answdrs they supply, will inevitably be influenced by the historian’s position in the present. However, certain ways of enquiring about the past are likely to produce a clearer and more meaningful picture than others. A key element of this ‘qualified objectivity’ is open debate between scholars of different backgrounds and persuasions (Appleby, Hunt and Jacob 1994). The vision of ‘qualified objectivity’ offered in Telling the Tmtla About Hitting) is open to various criticisms. As Dipesh Chakrabarty points out, 359-) 1‘3}- A POLITICAL ECONOMY OF HISTORIOAL TRUTHFULNESS 237 it too easily assumes that ideas and experiences from diverse historical settings can, without much distortion, be translated into the common language of contemporary academic history (Chakrabarty 2000, 75). It also seems to take the nation state for granted as the framework for historical knowledge, and, at times, treats open historical enquiry as though it were some uniquely American virtue. Besides, the authors of Telling the Truth aboat Hirtagt are mainly concerned with the way profes- sional historians theorize the past. By contrast, in these pages I have been interested in thinking about the place of historical knowledge in everyday life, and I am therefore particularly concerned with the way in which public knowledge of the past infuses, and is infused by, feeling and action. However, the issues raised in Telling the Truth about Hitter)! are important, and some of the ideas put forward are useful. One of these ideas is the emphasis on openness to multiple perspectives on the past. Learning about the varied perspectives of different participants in a past event gives us a fuller understanding of what happened and why, and helps us to understand the genealogy of our own ideas. Listening to, and participating in, present—day debates about historical events exposes our own preconceptions to challenge, and so makes us think more deeply about our conceptions of history — indeed, often makes us refine or change them. In Relation to the Past The notion of the search for historical knowledge as a ‘relationship’ is also a valuable one. In earlier chapters I have used the idea of ‘historical truthfulness’ as something that is expressed (more or less fully) through a series of relationships between participants in historical events, the people involved in recording and representing the events, and the people who consume the accounts that are subsequently produced. Historical 238 THE PAST WITHIN US truthfulness begins, I would argue, with an alternating” to tdtpreseflce of the part Wifbifl and aramd m: the recognition that we ourselves are shaped by the past, and that knowing the past is therefore essential to knowing ourselves and others, and indeed to knowing what it is to be human. Whatever else it may impart, history education which does not stimulate this attentiveness serves very little useful purpose. fl. , As we saw in the discussion of photography hnd film, our relationship with the past is complex and multilayered. Most people do not learn about history by studying primary evidence in the archives or at archaeological sites. Instead, 'what we encounter are representations of the past which reach us through the filter of other people’s interpreta— tions and imaginations: through the words of the novelist, the lens of the photographer, the graphics of the comic—book artist. Attentiveness to the presence of the past implies paying attention to these representa— tions: a desire to know why this person tells the story in this way, and what other stories are, or could be, told abont the same event. Central to historical truthfulness, then, is the willingness and capacity to pay attention to the differing representations of the past created by people who view (or viewed) the same set of events from different places, social backgrounds and ideological perspectives. An attentiveness to diverse representations of the past is important for many reasons. At the most obvious level, it helps to prevent an unquestioning acceptance of slanted propaganda about the past. It would have been better for people in the formei Yugoslavia to have had a chance to hear and assess both nationalist Serbian and nationalist Croatian versions of the events of the Second World War, rather than, as many were, simply being exposed to one or the other. It would have been better still had they had more ready access not just to two counter— posed nationalist narratives of the past, but to the multiple alternative narratives put forward (often at considerable personal risk) by dissenters, minorities and fringe media on both sides of the ethnic divide, as well as 98‘s; A POLITICAL ECONOMY OF HISTdfiiéAL TRUTHFULNESS 239 I by those who viewed the Serbian and Croatian past from outside the frontiers of the former Yugoslavia. ' Listening to multiple voices encourages critical awareness and enriches our knowledge of the events of the past. It also helps us to think imaginatively about the spatial and temporal frameworks that we draw around events. As we saw in the case of. the Amistad incident, whether one sees this as an event in the history of US abolitionism, an event in the history of slavery in Sierra Leone, or an event that spans and connects the histories of both countries, has important implications for an understanding of the past. A new spatial framework — for example, one that sees the incident as part of Sierra Leonean history as well as of US history — opens up a new temporal framework. Now the story no longer begins on the slave ship Awaited, and ends at the moment when the Amistad Africans return home; now we begin to be curious about the lives of the Amistad captives before they were kidnapped, and what happened after they returned. To understand and compare different representations of the past, it is essential not just to ask who is telling this story, but also to ask bow. A key theme of this book has been the way that differing media of historical expression influence the way that the past is represented. Those media possess their own codes of representation, their own possibilities and limitations. Some readily evoke emotion and identifi— cation, while others encourage abstract explanation; some tend to present the life of past ages as an interwoven texture, while others encourage us to separate the threads for analytical purposes. In a multimedia age, the same event is represented in many forms, and repre- sentations in one medium resonate with representations in another. The impulses to compare multiple representations, to understand the relationship between medium and message, and use varied media creatively to find out about the past are crucial aspects of historical truthfulness. ‘ 240 THE PAST WITHIN us Attending to diverse representations of a past event does not give us a perfect picture of what happened. Nor can it be a purely relativist process, where all accounts are treated with equal scepticism. Our knowledge of the past determines who we are and how we live in the present. It is therefore inevitable that some representations will influence us more than others. Living at the beginning of Elie twenty- first century, I cannot fully enter into the mental world and lived experiences of a nineteenth—century English factory workef, a 19305 Japanese farmer, or the precolonial Aboriginal families whose territory once encompassed the piece of land that is now my back garden. It is unlikely, too, that I can fully enter into the mental world and experiences of some contemporary Aboriginal communities, such as those whose accounts of the past (drawing on quite different ‘regimes of truth’ from those which dominate Australian academic history writing) are documented by Deborah Bird Rose and Hokari Minoru (Rose 1990; Hokari 2001, 2004). This should not prevent me from exercising my imagination to the full in the effort to understand their experience and vision of the world. But in the end historical truthfulness also demands an acknowledgement of the fissures and silences that run through all knowledge. While recognizing its own limits, though, historical truthfulness above all involves an effort to make same of the past. Listening to the multiple voices of history must also be a process through which we try to gain a broader picture of past events, judge the reliability of conflicting accounts, assess the meanings of different forms of testimonies and evidence, and search for patterns that explain the relationship between past and present. In a complex information age, it is easy to feel overwhelmed by a mass of contradictory narratives. But the temptation to abdicate opinion — to leave the conclusions to ‘the experts’ — is dangerous because it creates a vacuum which can all too readily be filled by the latest or most appealingly presented ideology. In l‘h-‘h ‘ r. A POLITICAL ECONOMY OF HISTORICliu. 'l'RUTHFULNESS 241 relation to historical understanding, as in relation to politics, amorphous apathy and a frenzied enthusiasm for media—manipulated public performance are two sides of the same coin. Historical truthfulness, then, is an ongoing conversaiion through which, by engaging with the views of others in different social and spatial locations (across and within national boundaries), we shape and reshape our understanding of the past. It is therefore also a process of self—reflection. As we enter into a dialogue with varied representa— tions of the past, we do not only create our own interpretaiions and our sense of identity by accepting some representations and rejecting others. We are also forced to think about our position in the present, and how it influences our interpretations and choices. My reactions to a particular novel or photograph or film — whether it moves me, how I relate it to the wider stories I tell about the past, whether and how it influences the way I live my life '— depends on many factors: amongst other things on my background knowledge of the past, on my current social position and views of the world, and on the way in which I have experienced historical events. _ I grew up in England in the 1950s and 19603, learning school history in a framework which, at least in the early years, was intensely national- istic and often imperialist. But in writing this book I have found myself looking back at the wide range of other stories and images that influenced my sense of the past. These included highly jingoistic films about the Second World War, which characteristically presented the war as a conflict in which good (:Britain) confronted evil (:Germany), and good triumphed, as well as imperialist comic books in which heroic British explorers and missionaries brought the blessings of ‘civilizaiion’ to suitably grateful ‘natives’. But they also included more complicated accounts of the past. As a teenager I was deeply impressed by R. C. Hutchinson’s now long—forgotten novel foams: at Daybreak, which deals with the issue of the Holocaust from the perspective of a 242 THE PAST WITHEN US .1 German woman struggling to come to terms with her senselof respon- sibility in the chaos of the immediate postwar years. Re-reading this in middle age, I find its power as a novel marred by excessive moral and religious overtones, but it still suggests the potential of the novel to extend the historical imagination into unfamiliar landscapes which offer ' a new vantage point on the past; Going to school in the Netherlands for two years I also discovered that the events of the Westerh‘ European past looked surprisingly different in Dutch textbooks and'museums from the way they looked in British textbooks and museums. This gave me a clearer understanding of the stories my mother had told me of her own childhood experiences, moving between schools in England, where she was taught about the glorious reign of ‘Good Queen Bess’ (Queen Elizabeth I), and schools in the newly independent Ireland, where she was taught about the misery inflicted on the Irish people by ‘Bad Queen Bess’. As an adult I have spent most of my time studying and researching Japanese history, and in the process defining and redefining my own relationship to that history. Studying key events of the recent Japanese past, including the experiences of prewar imperial expansion and of the war, have made me look in new ways at the past of Britain, where I grew up, and of Australia, where I now live. I cannot, for example, reflect on problems of war responsibility in Japan without also reflecting on problems of British responsibility for colonialism in Australia and elsewhere. At the same time, I have found myself increasingly involved in intense and ongoing debates about the teaching of history in Japan. As time has gone on, I have been forced to reflect on a notion that once seemed straightforward: the notion of my history. The idea that some parts of the past are ours, and some are not, no longer seems so simple. The historical events that took place in particular geographical spaces (like Britain and Ireland) may be parts of my past because they have in some way helped to shape who I am, but the historical events that took “a A POLITICAL ECONOMY or HISTORICX‘L‘TRUTHFULNESS 243 place in others (like Australia and Japan) have also in a sense become parts of my past because my life is caught up in their future: It is absurd and illusory to imagine that we can view the past from any vantage point but the present, or to pretend that we can project ourselves back into the minds and bodies of participants in past events. All we can do is endeavour to be honest about our position in the present, and about the way our vision of the past relates to our vision for the future. If we recognize that we view the past from the present, acknowledge the limits of that viewpoint, and compare our vantage with those of our contemporaries, learning about the past can, I think and hope, become part of an ongoing effort to create for ourselves a meaningful position in the present. Historical Truthfulness as a Social Issue Lastly, historical nuthfulness is not just a psychological relationship between an individual and the past. It is also a social matter. In the twenty—first century, our knowledge of the past is deeply influenced by the unequal power and reach of various media, and by the unequal access of different groups of people to those media. Political and economic power translates into the capacity to shape the landscapes of the historical imagination. The economics of publishing and the communicational codes of the comic book have had a decisive impact on Japanese people’s access to knowledge regarding key events of the recent Japanese past. The global reach of Hollywood allows certain images of the past to be exported around the world, moulding many people’s unconscious sense of the structure and meaning of world history. Historical truthfulness, then, requires a shared effort to make history more accessible, both by using the potential of existing media to the full and, at times, by attacking the systems of privilege that generate unequal 244 THE PAST WITHIN US exchanges of knowledge. The emergence of new media like the Internet can open up new ways to overcome existing monopolies of knowledge. But at the same time, the legally enforced private ownership of knowledge is increasingly used to prevent the critical examination of certain versions of history. History teaching and research comes under growing pressure from the worldwide tendency towards the privatization of higher education. Yet those of us who engage in Ithe creation of historical knowledge have perhaps greater opportunities than ever before to combine the uses of varied media and to explore new ways of communicating that knowledge beyond the narrow confines of the lecture theatre. In this sense, we need to work not just towards a discourse of historical truthfulness but also towards a political economy of historical truthfulness — a society which creates space for the critical under- standing and open exchange of multiple interpretations of the past, an understanding and exchange which extends across national boundaries. Without this we risk one of the most pernicious forms of impover- ishment: the self—inflicted poverty that human beings, for fear of one another, create within their own minds. Bibliography Achebe Chinua. 1994 (first published in 1959). Things Fall Apart. New York: Doubleday. M Aida Yfiji. 1986. Rerézltbz' slao‘somx flojomilém‘o. Tokyo: PHP Kenkyulo. Aizu Izurni and Shumpei Kumon. 1994. ‘Co-Emulan'on: The Case for a Global Hypernetwork Society’. In Global Nenuorés: Coomater: and International Communications. Ed. Linda M. Harasirn. Cambridge Mass: MIT Press. 311—326. Akutagawa, Ryfinosuke. 1995. ‘Rashémon’. In Aéutagawa Ryflflosmée zoos/Ea. Vol. 1. Tokyo: IWanami Shoten. 145—154. _ , Akutagawa Ryfinosuke. 1996 (first published in 1915). ‘Toslnshun. In Akutagawa Rjfioomke gambit Vol. 6. Tokyo: Iwanan'n Shoten. 254—271. - Allison, Anne. 1996. Permitted and Prohibited Derirer: Mothers Comm and Comer-sop in japan. Boulder: Westview Press. ' ‘ Anderson, Benedict. 1991. Imagined Communities (Second Edition). London: Verso Press. . Appleby, Joyce, Lynn Hunt and Margaret Jacobs. 1994. Telkog tbs Trot/'3 About Histogl. New York: W W Norton 8: .Co. ...
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