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Manuscript deadline
15 September 2020

Cover image - Review of Education Pedagogy and Cultural Studies

Review of Education Pedagogy and Cultural Studies

Special Issue Editor(s)

Nena Močnik, CY Cergy Paris University
[email protected]

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Lessons from Sexual Violence in Mass Atrocity Crimes: Toward Preventive Pedagogies in History Education

Despite its impact on local communities and international development, the topic of sexual violence is perpetuated throughout the history, remains outside or on the very margin of the history writing, both in general, international or global histories, as well as in national historiographies. For decades, silence that have been socially enforced around experiences of rape and sexual assaults during mass atrocities – colonialism, genocides, occupation and other grandiose political territorial projects – enabled to neglect the social impact and long-term traumatic consequences, and therefore to leave it out from the institutional history curricula at all levels of formal education.

History teachers can play an important role in breaking the silence by showcasing the long-term presence of the sexual violence at every level of society, in every culture, and in every era. Including sexual violence within different historical contexts across the globe enhances understanding of power relationship and helps to overcome the ideas of some type of biological imperatives still fueling today’s rape culture. In this way students understand that the movement against sexual violence is not only about advocacy in our own time and in the domain of gender studies and social equality; historical examples, the resistance of individuals and communities, mainstream narratives and the overall amnesia around sexual violence, teaches the students about the repeating patterns, guidelines them toward recognition, prevention and potentials of social rehabilitation.

However, traditional pedagogical practices that introduce history from the ‘objective’ distance and therefore dehumanized understanding of past collective violence, oppression and inequality, do not sufficiently prepare history teachers to handle a topic like sexual violence, and more generally, to deal with the related (or inherited) trauma that might exists in the classroom. Sensitivity of the topic of sexual violence and sexual slavery prevents many teachers from addressing the issue with their students.

This call for special issue invites contributors to probe the ways sexual violence is integrated into (or omitted from) the local, national and transnational histories that are included in the institutional education curriculum in all levels. The particular focus is in the role that sexual violence played in the ‘grandiose’ histories of imperial, colonial, and nationalistic projects. On the other hand, we ask wheter the popularization of memory studies helps bringing forward individual accounts of long-term, and/or inter-generational consequences that reflect or neglect the understanding, prosecution and social repercussions of sexual violence today. The main interest of this issue is therefore not to showcase the examples of sexual violence that occurred during the history, but rather how these examples can be better integrated within contemporary history curricula; how the historical practices of political use of sexual violence (in colonialism, imperialism etc.) are still being practiced today; what challenges and obstacles a history educator might face while trying to expose the history of sexual violence; and what skills and useful methods might be applied to communicate the topic in the classroom without risking any harm. We welcome proposals by history teachers from all levels of formal and non-formal education; policy makers; social and political scientists; historians, museum educator and others, reflecting these aspects from diverse methodological and theoretical perspectives.

Topics considered for publication may include, but are not limited to the questions as:

  • how can history teachers grapple with historical accounts with sexual violence in the past in the classroom?
  • how developments of historical events intersect with inequalities and sexual violence in the present?
  • what and how primary historical sources (visual materials, testimonies, objects) can support to create trauma-informed classrooms and better understanding of sexual violence today?
  • how can the existing history curriculum accommodate the historic cases of sexual violence?
  • how does the contemporary use of sexual violence as a tactic in political projects differ from the similar historical cases?
  • what methods and pedagogical approaches can be used to ‘break the silence’ of historical cases of massive and intentional use of sexual violence?

The papers can furthermore address:

  • the conceptual and epistemological recommendations to change, adjust, and/or improve the existing history curricula that includes the topic of sexual violence;
  • working with the ‘lack of evidence’: interdisciplinary collaborations between history teachers and broader socio-political sciences to provide historical cases and to make the scarce evidence visible in the classroom;
  • challenges, obstacles, risks and threats that might appear when discussing cases of sexual violence in the history classroom
  • upscaling of the existing teacher’s training and pedagogical practices to provide the opportunities to address legacies of sexual violence and related traumas in the history classroom;
  • the role that the history education plays in minimizing or/and preventing the sexual violence;

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Submission Instructions

The above list of topics is not exhaustive, and the editorial board will consider other topics related to the main themes of this special issue. We also welcome book reviews addressing the topics and themes illustrated above. Prospective contributors should contact the editors to discuss their proposals in the form of a maximum 250 words abstract along with a brief biography via email to: [email protected].


May 2020 Call for Abstracts (up to 250 words)
June 15st 2020 Deadline for Abstracts
June 30th 2020 Notification of Accepted Abstracts
September 30th 2020 Deadline for Draft Papers (send to peer-review)
November 20th 2020 Reviews Feedback
January 30 2021 Submission of Revised Papers

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