News | Tuesday, 5th November 2013

Conference asks "who owns history?"

Academics will explore multicultural issues in subject

A ONE-DAY conference to be held at MMU this month will ask, “Who owns history?”

The conference, subtitled “a clash of perspectives” will look at multicultural issues in the study and teaching of history.

It will ask to what extent Eurocentrism defines history, whether there are alternative ways of explaining history and what aims and objectives should govern a history curriculum in schools in multicultural Britain?

In the morning, presentations will look at the idea that Greek civilisation was more multicultural than previously believed, at the multicultural origins of mathematics and the way that Chinese philosophy played an important part in the Enlightenment but was dismissed due to the efforts by Immanuel Kant.

Crucial importance

Afternoon presentations will look at contesting the history curriculum, building a curriculum for urban schools and considering what the curriculum should be in an increasingly diverse Britain.

Organiser Burjor Avari, honorary research fellow in the Department of History, said: “Among the many political, social and educational issues arising out of the ever increasing multiculturalism of British society, the place of History in education is of crucial importance. It is through History that we get to know who we are and how we have reached where we are.

“History is central to our identity as individuals and as a nation. It is therefore no surprise that what is taught in, and what is left out of, the History curriculum in schools, colleges and universities, provoke intense debate and controversy among politicians and educationists.”

The conference will take place on Saturday, 23 November. Admission costs £18, or £10 for concessions. Further information is available by emailing Burjor Avari on

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