Dr. Paul Zanazanian

Associate Professor
Dr. Paul Zanazanian
Contact Information
Email address: 
paul.zanazanian [at] mcgill.ca
514-398-4527 Ext 094453
514-398-4527 Ext 094763
Alternate phone: 

Education Building
3700 rue McTavish
Montréal, Quebec H3A 1Y2

Department of Integrated Studies in Education (DISE)

Paul Zanazanian’s multifaceted and interdisciplinary research focuses on people’s everyday production and use of historical knowledge. He studies the concept of historical consciousness and its impact on actors’ means of knowing and doing when constructing social reality for purposes of engaging with the world. Theoretically and methodologically, Zanazanian investigates historical consciousness’ role in the development of individual and we-group identities and their potential for enacting change both in formal and informal educational settings and community and societal contexts. His aim is to help transform such societies as Quebec, in a positive way, where differing social problems with historical roots are present and seem to impede the regular functioning of a fully open, inclusive, and equitable society.

Zanazanian offers a graduate seminar on historical knowledge and social change. He also prepares future (English-speaking) secondary school history teachers to teach Quebec/ Canadian history. His teaching seeks to prepare self-reflexive practitioners – researchers, teachers, community organizers, and activists – who account for their sense of purpose and responsibility in their positions of power and influence. Charting new directions for the study of historical consciousness, Zanazanian has co-edited a special issue in the Journal of Curriculum Studies. His forthcoming book, Historical Consciousness and Practical-Life: A Theory and Methodology, with University of Toronto Press, moreover, introduces a novel understanding of historical consciousness that examines how people produce and use historical knowledge to position themselves regarding historically rooted social problems, to then gauge their degree of reflexivity and ability to take critical distance from the claims they make.

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