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Teaching with Life Stories

National Identity
Knowledge
Identity
Immigration
Education
Narratives
Marleen Rensen
University of Amsterdam
Marleen Rensen
University of Amsterdam

Abstract

This poster-presentation is intended to showcase the use of life stories in courses about European Identities. I would like to draw attention to the particular value of biographies and autobiographies as sources which enable teachers to make the abstract notion of 'identity' concrete. Studying the life stories of a wide range of subjects (including artists, intellectuals, politicians and ordinary citizens from across Europe and beyond) enables students to develop a better understanding for other people's identities from different countries, religions, classes and ethnicity, as well as their own. This helps comprehend Europe's diversity in all its complexity.