Historian: Historians must rewrite our textbooks
An Argentinean history professor has called for students to rewrite textbooks that omit the genocide of Indigenous peoples, a legacy of colonialism.
He said the textbooks should be rewritten so that “the past can be made to look like the present” and the history can be rediscovered as an “intellectual, cultural and moral history”.
I have spoken to many historians, they say: we must rewrite textbooks, Professor Antonio de Vaz said in an interview published in the newspaper La Nacion.
But many students are opposed to his call, which he says would be a violation of students’ freedom of speech.
The professor said the history textbooks are “the most important documents” in Argentina.
“I am not against the history, I am against the textbooks,” said de Vauz, who is a member of the Instituto de Estudios de Historia Argentina (IHI).
“The textbooks are the most important records of Argentina and the country’s history, but that history has to be redone.
I think that textbooks are a very important document for all of us and we must read them.
As for the fact that students are not allowed to change the textbooks, I don’t know if it’s because of the content or because they are students.
There are some students who are not willing to change their textbooks, but there are also others who are very supportive of the textbooks and who are against rewriting them.”
De Vauvio said the school system is responsible for ensuring that the textbooks are correct and have the right information for students.
But he said he does not know whether his proposal would be adopted by the education system.
When students come to class, he said, they must be able to read and understand the texts in their entirety.
De Vaz has been a member since 1998 of the national board of historians, the Argentine Historical Institute.
His institute, which has a branch in Buenos Aires, has been criticized for the past decade for its lack of research on the genocide.
It published the first edition of a history textbook in 2017 that did not include the name of a specific massacre.
The school system, which is funded by the government, has published a second edition, which includes a new section on the killings of Indigenous people.
The textbook says the massacres took place between 1625 and 1823.
De Vaucas said the new edition will not contain the names of the specific victims but will include a summary of their lives and the “victims and perpetrators”.
He also said he would be willing to edit the textbook if his colleagues do not agree with his idea.
In the meantime, the school board is currently in talks with the Argentine government to revise the textbooks to include more information on the mass killings.