Terminale history class: teaching about torture during the Algerian war

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This article discusses the way the French army's use of torture during the Algerian war (1954-1962) is taught in terminale history class in contemporary France. In recent years the issue of torture has re-emerged in the public sphere and has attracted considerable media coverage. Through a case study of this vector of memory, the article appraises the teaching of history by drawing on interviews with historians, teachers and pupils in France as well as on written sources such as textbooks and examination questions. While highlighting the significant weaknesses of this teaching, the article argues that new forums to discuss the past are urgently needed, particularly concerning colonialism, decolonisation and the Maghreb.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0963948042000196379

Affiliations: University of Technology Sydney

Publication date: February 1, 2004

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