This week we will start “history wars”—something we will come to again later in the semester. Start by thinking about history textbooks. Don’t ask merely what are they? Ask: what are they supposed to do? What does Nora think textbooks are supposed to do? Knapp? Benjamin? Then look to the details of the very contentious fights over textbooks in Japan. How are textbooks chosen in Japan? In the US? After doing the required reading you may find an online search will turn up recent examples, such as this recent story.
A brand new article with some very good background info on how Japanese textbooks make it from publisher to schools.