Historical Maps as Narratives. Anchoring the Nation in History Textbooks
In this chapter we analyse the relations between historical maps included in textbooks and the narrative constructions of the past. The historical map is a contemporary pedagogical device that depicts the configuration of territory through human action, but most importantly, it explains historical phenomena led by connections of causality and historical context. In this sense, these types of map provide comprehensive historical accounts of key historical issues for particular social contexts. This suggests that the historical map represents national territory while at the same time recreating national master narrative. This is a little-studied topic in history education, which requires understanding of master narratives’ structure and functioning. Thus, we present a case analysis of the subject based on Carretero’s theoretical model of national master narratives in history education. Ultimately, we also aim to contribute to enhancing the knowledge of historical space as a key concept of history education. The spatial dimension is essential for historical thinking, and a cornerstone in people’s explanation of history. Fixed spatial notions of where the events take place underpin the construction of historiographical knowledge and national historical narratives, as well as the personal storytelling of the past.Training students and citizens to better understand historical maps may help them to develop a deeper and more nuanced understanding of history.