Educating to the past: perspectives for comparative research on 'deep' and 'universal' History
Keywords:Education, Universalism, Historiography, Deep History, Global History
This article takes into account the recent trend of historiography towards a return to a universal conception of history. This universalism consists mainly in a global and profound vision of the past. Such an approach is assessed here through the comparative observation of some recent works that have provoked a lively debate in the academic community. This orientation, however, is far from new; it is rather a return. The most important historical works produced from the Middle Ages to the eve of modernity, in fact, have considered human history as a whole. The reduction of the time frames in scholarly works analysed here, although responding to contingent and concrete needs, according to some intellectuals caused cultural ‘short circuits’ that prevented us from grasping the same historical events that historians were trying to understand and guide. In this article, I will try to put ancient universalism into dialogue with modern universalism, underlining the pedagogical value of this way of writing history and the centrality of educational institutions in consolidating and transmitting it. The historiographical works considered here do not necessarily exhaust the whole panorama of publications on this theme. In my opinion, however, they are the most representative and innovative of this new and at the same time ancient trend. What they have in common is the renewed sensitivity of the scientific community towards a multidisciplinary and inclusive approach, which uses the recent acquisitions of a wide range of sciences, including geology, anthropology, archaeology, physics, for the study of human history.
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