During the twentieth century, traditional concepts of objectivity and narratives of Western exceptionalism have been forcefully challenged. Does that mean that our relationship with the past and the content and purpose of history are now less self-evident than before? Which historical problems appear most urgent for contemporary societies to explore critically? What and how do historians in an age intensely aware of global interconnections teach in universities, and do their interests productively inform school curricula? Following a year of intense debate on history teaching in schools, the panel will discuss the controversies over current visions of the discipline.
Professor Michael Bentley, University of St Andrews
Michael Bentley is Professor of Modern History at the University of St. Andrews. He has written several books about the political and intellectual history of moden Britain but in recent years has turned to he comparative study of historiography as a form. His biography of Herbert Butterfield was written from this point of view and appeared in 2011 but he is now working on a large-scale study of difference in styles of western historical writing since the Enlightenment. He is committed to the importance of training students in theory and historiography as part of a rounded historical education.