Learning to Read. The importance of historiographical media for a critical historiography beyond texts
The essay examines whether historiography pays enough attention to its media other than texts. The author focuses on (historical) maps as a well established medium to display historical process in space and time. However, maps are both opportunity and challenge to the same extent, in particular because they tend to create a false sense of objectivity. This essay aims to show that maps are not at all unbiased. In contrast, they represent the ‘mental maps’ of their authors and likewise their own situatedness in time and space. The representation of the Non-aligned Movement in topical maps on the Cold War period serves to illustrate this point. If studied closely, their selective and nostro-centric presumptions can be revealed. Hence the historical method of deconstruction becomes particularly important with respect to maps: Knowing to read – and therefore ‘learning to read’ – the different non-textual representations of history in a critical and deconstructive manner is an integral part of critical historiography today.
Kurz-Bio: Teresa Gärtner
studierte an der Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena und der Universidad de Alicante Geschichte und Sozialkunde. In ihrer kürzlich abgeschlossenen Examensarbeit setzt sie sich mit »Titos ideologische Fundierung der Blockfreiheit« auseinander.