Center Events: Speaker Series
Sam Wineburg (Stanford University)
Who Are We as a People?
Gauging Shifts in Historical Consciousness across Generations
29 January 2007
How can we understand something as diffuse
as national historical consciousness, and begin to gauge its changes across
time? In this talk, Sam Wineburg considers who Americans hold as heros and
famous figures by reporting on a survey of 2000 17-year-olds from all 50
states, and a comparative sample of 2000 adults from 12 metropolitan areas.
The results, counterintuitive and going against the grain of conventional
wisdom, promise to be anything but boring.
Wineburg is currently Professor of
Education and Professor of History (by courtesy) at Stanford University.
Sam's work engages questions of identity and history in modern society: how
today's Instant Messengerized youth use the past to construct individual and
collective identities. Over the last fifteen years his interests have
spanned a wide terrain, from how adolescents and professional historians
interpret primary sources to issues of teacher assessment and teacher
community in the workplace. His book, Historical Thinking and Other
Unnatural Acts, won the 2002 Frederic W. Ness Award from the Association of
American Colleges and Universities for the book "that best illuminates the
goals and practices of a contemporary liberal education."