Tina van der Vlies is an Assistant Professor of History at the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication. Her current research 'Why school history matters: public discourses on the purposes of history education, 1920-2020' is funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO Rubicon). For this project she is affiliated with the Faculty of Education at the University of Cambridge (UK).
With the help of history, we can see societal challenges from new angles and in a new light. That is why Van der Vlies started to study history at the Erasmus University Rotterdam after her gymnasium graduation. She finished the master History of Society cum laude and with an extra honors trajectory. Afterwards, she went to ICLON at Leiden University and did a master’s in education (also cum laude). During her studies, she taught history in high school and gave tours in the Dutch National Museum of Education.
For her PhD trajectory Van der Vlies went back to Rotterdam. The Dutch Organization for Scientific Research funded her PhD research on the perpetuation of national narratives in English and Dutch history textbooks, 1920 – 2010. She wrote about the less visible ways of national narratives’ perpetuation by pointing out how narrated histories in textbooks overlapped and interfused. Her dissertation *Echoing Events* shows how textbook authors narrated different histories as ‘echoing events’ by interpreting them in the same way and by using the same combinations of historical analogies. They gave meaning to history with these recurring connections. Her research revealed widespread schemata and frames of references in the narration of national history.
In this way she shed new light on debates about the canonization of national narratives and complemented James Wertsch' theory on narrative templates. Since the research provided a better understanding of the potential mobilizing power of national narratives in societies, it was awarded by The International Standing Conference for the History of Education in 2015 and The Belgian-Dutch Society for the History education in 2019.
Van der Vlies presented her research at various international conferences and summer schools. For a longer research stay, she went to the Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research in Braunschweig, the University of Cambridge (Faculty of Education), the Institute of Education in London and the Centre for Memory, Narrative and Histories in Brighton. She also aims to integrate her research findings in her lectures and tutorials.