Towards an Embodied History: Metaphorical Models in Textbook Knowledge of the Controversial Polish-Lithuanian Past

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisMonograph

Abstract

A complex shared Polish-Lithuanian past raises historical as well as political controversy. The tensions emerge in the divergent narratives, maintained by the two nations, of their shared past, in school-history education. This research examines the conceptual roots for how the past – that is shared, but remembered differently – has been taught in school-history education in Poland and Lithuania. For this task, I study the metaphorical models that shape textbook presentation of the past. The embodied, conceptual metaphor theory of cognitive linguist George Lakoff and philosopher Mark Johnson provides the framework for examining the metaphors that shape an understanding of both cognition and the past on a meta-theoretical level. I focus on visual metaphors, which structure the textbook presentation of the past, because such metaphors participate in conceptualizing cognition as making representations by a disembodied mind, distanced from the world. My theoretical approach, enactive embodiment, posits a radically different understanding of cognition. Even though evidence for the embodiment of mind abounds, the implications of this research have not yet entered the public consciousness. There remains a lack of understanding of the practical implications of research on embodied cognition, which forms the gap this project aims to address. The research materials – Polish and Lithuanian school-history textbooks and interviews with their authors – serve as a “laboratory” for application and further development of these insights from cognitive science. The thesis investigates the use of metaphors in school-history textbooks and interview materials aiming to identify the metaphorical models, which shape ways of thinking about and engagement with the past. Finally, the 5 features of school-history textbooks that I focus on in this work address issues of: 1) truth in the light of 2) competing accounts of history that 3) sharply distinguish fact from fiction; moreover, in concentrating on: 4) narratives of the nation-state and 5) the arrangement of narrative in a linear sequence of static states, what is left out is the lived, experiential past of embodied persons of past times and places. The contribution this dissertation thus offers is to show how the rethinking of the truth of the past – in embodied terms – opens up potential new avenues for conceiving of historical truth and for teaching it in school-history.
Original languageEnglish
Publisher
Print ISBNs978-951-51-4180-4
Electronic ISBNs978-951-51-4181-1
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoE publication typeG4 Doctoral dissertation (monograph)

Fields of Science

  • 517 Political science

Cite this

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title = "Towards an Embodied History: Metaphorical Models in Textbook Knowledge of the Controversial Polish-Lithuanian Past",
abstract = "A complex shared Polish-Lithuanian past raises historical as well as political controversy. The tensions emerge in the divergent narratives, maintained by the two nations, of their shared past, in school-history education. This research examines the conceptual roots for how the past – that is shared, but remembered differently – has been taught in school-history education in Poland and Lithuania. For this task, I study the metaphorical models that shape textbook presentation of the past. The embodied, conceptual metaphor theory of cognitive linguist George Lakoff and philosopher Mark Johnson provides the framework for examining the metaphors that shape an understanding of both cognition and the past on a meta-theoretical level. I focus on visual metaphors, which structure the textbook presentation of the past, because such metaphors participate in conceptualizing cognition as making representations by a disembodied mind, distanced from the world. My theoretical approach, enactive embodiment, posits a radically different understanding of cognition. Even though evidence for the embodiment of mind abounds, the implications of this research have not yet entered the public consciousness. There remains a lack of understanding of the practical implications of research on embodied cognition, which forms the gap this project aims to address. The research materials – Polish and Lithuanian school-history textbooks and interviews with their authors – serve as a “laboratory” for application and further development of these insights from cognitive science. The thesis investigates the use of metaphors in school-history textbooks and interview materials aiming to identify the metaphorical models, which shape ways of thinking about and engagement with the past. Finally, the 5 features of school-history textbooks that I focus on in this work address issues of: 1) truth in the light of 2) competing accounts of history that 3) sharply distinguish fact from fiction; moreover, in concentrating on: 4) narratives of the nation-state and 5) the arrangement of narrative in a linear sequence of static states, what is left out is the lived, experiential past of embodied persons of past times and places. The contribution this dissertation thus offers is to show how the rethinking of the truth of the past – in embodied terms – opens up potential new avenues for conceiving of historical truth and for teaching it in school-history.",
keywords = "517 Political science",
author = "Ruta Kazlauskaite",
year = "2018",
language = "English",
isbn = "978-951-51-4180-4",
publisher = "University of Helsinki",
address = "Finland",

}

Towards an Embodied History : Metaphorical Models in Textbook Knowledge of the Controversial Polish-Lithuanian Past. / Kazlauskaite, Ruta.

University of Helsinki, 2018. 341 p.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisMonograph

TY - THES

T1 - Towards an Embodied History

T2 - Metaphorical Models in Textbook Knowledge of the Controversial Polish-Lithuanian Past

AU - Kazlauskaite, Ruta

PY - 2018

Y1 - 2018

N2 - A complex shared Polish-Lithuanian past raises historical as well as political controversy. The tensions emerge in the divergent narratives, maintained by the two nations, of their shared past, in school-history education. This research examines the conceptual roots for how the past – that is shared, but remembered differently – has been taught in school-history education in Poland and Lithuania. For this task, I study the metaphorical models that shape textbook presentation of the past. The embodied, conceptual metaphor theory of cognitive linguist George Lakoff and philosopher Mark Johnson provides the framework for examining the metaphors that shape an understanding of both cognition and the past on a meta-theoretical level. I focus on visual metaphors, which structure the textbook presentation of the past, because such metaphors participate in conceptualizing cognition as making representations by a disembodied mind, distanced from the world. My theoretical approach, enactive embodiment, posits a radically different understanding of cognition. Even though evidence for the embodiment of mind abounds, the implications of this research have not yet entered the public consciousness. There remains a lack of understanding of the practical implications of research on embodied cognition, which forms the gap this project aims to address. The research materials – Polish and Lithuanian school-history textbooks and interviews with their authors – serve as a “laboratory” for application and further development of these insights from cognitive science. The thesis investigates the use of metaphors in school-history textbooks and interview materials aiming to identify the metaphorical models, which shape ways of thinking about and engagement with the past. Finally, the 5 features of school-history textbooks that I focus on in this work address issues of: 1) truth in the light of 2) competing accounts of history that 3) sharply distinguish fact from fiction; moreover, in concentrating on: 4) narratives of the nation-state and 5) the arrangement of narrative in a linear sequence of static states, what is left out is the lived, experiential past of embodied persons of past times and places. The contribution this dissertation thus offers is to show how the rethinking of the truth of the past – in embodied terms – opens up potential new avenues for conceiving of historical truth and for teaching it in school-history.

AB - A complex shared Polish-Lithuanian past raises historical as well as political controversy. The tensions emerge in the divergent narratives, maintained by the two nations, of their shared past, in school-history education. This research examines the conceptual roots for how the past – that is shared, but remembered differently – has been taught in school-history education in Poland and Lithuania. For this task, I study the metaphorical models that shape textbook presentation of the past. The embodied, conceptual metaphor theory of cognitive linguist George Lakoff and philosopher Mark Johnson provides the framework for examining the metaphors that shape an understanding of both cognition and the past on a meta-theoretical level. I focus on visual metaphors, which structure the textbook presentation of the past, because such metaphors participate in conceptualizing cognition as making representations by a disembodied mind, distanced from the world. My theoretical approach, enactive embodiment, posits a radically different understanding of cognition. Even though evidence for the embodiment of mind abounds, the implications of this research have not yet entered the public consciousness. There remains a lack of understanding of the practical implications of research on embodied cognition, which forms the gap this project aims to address. The research materials – Polish and Lithuanian school-history textbooks and interviews with their authors – serve as a “laboratory” for application and further development of these insights from cognitive science. The thesis investigates the use of metaphors in school-history textbooks and interview materials aiming to identify the metaphorical models, which shape ways of thinking about and engagement with the past. Finally, the 5 features of school-history textbooks that I focus on in this work address issues of: 1) truth in the light of 2) competing accounts of history that 3) sharply distinguish fact from fiction; moreover, in concentrating on: 4) narratives of the nation-state and 5) the arrangement of narrative in a linear sequence of static states, what is left out is the lived, experiential past of embodied persons of past times and places. The contribution this dissertation thus offers is to show how the rethinking of the truth of the past – in embodied terms – opens up potential new avenues for conceiving of historical truth and for teaching it in school-history.

KW - 517 Political science

M3 - Doctoral Thesis

SN - 978-951-51-4180-4

PB - University of Helsinki

ER -