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ERIC Number: EJ765170
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-May
Pages: 19
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0018-2745
Popular Culture and the Teaching of History: The Modern Caribbean History Course
Shaffer, Kirwin R.
History Teacher, v37 n3 p365-383 May 2004
The history teacher frequently struggles to find classroom sources that are not only insightful, but also challenge students to be interpretative and imaginative about the past. As an instructional tool, popular culture can do all of these while reflecting the cultural impulses emanating from a particular country or region. To this end, the Caribbean offers the history teacher ample movies, musical selections, novels, and short stories to help students explore various facets of Caribbean history. This article has two aims: first, to illustrate how teachers of Caribbean history can make popular culture central to unlocking the dynamics of the region's history; and, second, to think about strategies and dilemmas involved in using popular culture as "historical texts" in any history course, not just Caribbean history. The author proposes re-envisioning Caribbean history away from a more traditional focus on political and economic history and toward an approach that places Caribbean popular culture at the center of the course. Before describing his course, he discusses the pedagogical problems that led him to redesign his course, the definition of "popular culture" he uses, and his understanding of the different ways popular culture can be used as historical text and the problems associated with such use. (Contains 11 notes.)
Society for History Education. California State University, Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90840-1601. Tel: 562-985-2573; Fax: 562-985-5431; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Cuba