Schoolbooks as Visual Media
Completed PhD project
In conveying history, images play an important role. They structure content, visualise issues, illustrate abstract relationships and emotionalise connections to the surrounding world. As a potential bearer and distributor of collective visual memories, educational media therefore require particular attention and interdisciplinary methods of analysis. The PhD project ‘Schoolbooks as Visual Media: Iconographies of Socialism’ understands the schoolbook to be a medium that is capable of significantly reflecting and shaping a visual memory. Using the example of images of socialism as a ‘signature’ of the twentieth century, it will be investigated from which images this memory was/is formed, which ‘language’ was embraced by schoolbook images in the relationship between images and captions, and how pictorial patterns changed after upheavals or were able to assert themselves beyond political turning points. Using the serial iconographic analysis of German history schoolbooks beyond the upheavals of 1989/1990, pictorial traditions and ruptures will be analysed and conclusions drawn about pictorial practices in schoolbooks and their impact on the pictorial household of a society.
Sub-project in the framework of the project ‘Visual History: Institutions and Media of Visual Memory’