This Report from the Field discusses the methodology of “clipping history” developed by the European Union-funded research initiative RETOPEA (Religious Toleration and Peace). This project, launched in 2018, uses the history of religious toleration to stimulate educational and policy-related reflection on contemporary religious coexistence. The article discusses the initial doubts about doing public history within conditions pre-set by the European Commission; the difficulties faced by the academically trained researchers in handling the educational and digital ambitions of the project; and the eventual strategies that the researchers followed to produce sufficiently contextualized “clippings,”—short pieces of historical information that European teenagers could use to reflect on the topic of religious coexistence.
Clipping for the Commission: Creating Digital Educational Tools about the Global History of Religious Toleration
Bram De Ridder studied history at the KU Leuven and International Relations at the University of Cambridge, before pursuing a PhD in early modern border history (graduating from Leuven in 2016). He subsequently worked as a visiting scholar at Harvard University and in 2018 became a postdoctoral researcher and assistant-coordinator for the European Horizon 2020 project RETOPEA. Since 2019 he has coordinated the applied history project Corvus. This project is jointly hosted by the KU Leuven and the Belgian State Archives and explores the methods of applied history, together with a dozen societal partners, such as the Flemish parliament, the Flemish Environmental Agency, the Belgian Police, and three media corporations. He has published in all major Flemish news outlets and has advised numerous private and public organizations on their relation to history.
Bram De Ridder; Clipping for the Commission: Creating Digital Educational Tools about the Global History of Religious Toleration. The Public Historian 1 May 2023; 45 (2): 87–107. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/tph.2023.45.2.87
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