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Dominant Narratives and Historical Perspective in Time Travel Stories: A Case Study of Doctor Who

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  • Publication: The Social Studies
  • Date: 2020-10-09
  • Author: Jolie C. Matthews
  • Page: 76-90
  • Language: English
  • Abstract: Historical novels, films, and other media can disrupt or reinforce dominant narratives about the past. Educators must be careful that when they attempt to select material from a range of seemingly diverse perspectives, they do not choose content that nevertheless maintains problematic depictions of people, places, and events. Time travel stories offer a unique opportunity for students to consider, discuss, and research both “the past” and popular media’s construction of the past, as well as confront their assumptions about what they believe is “true to history” and why. This article presents a case study and content analysis of the time travel TV show Doctor Who, and its narrative construction of the past around race and gender in particular. Implications are discussed for how the show might teach students about historical perspective and popular media’s influence on perceptions of history in subtle and overt ways.


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  • APA 6th ed.: Matthews, Jolie C. (2020-10-09). Dominant Narratives and Historical Perspective in Time Travel Stories: A Case Study of Doctor Who. The Social Studies p. 76-90.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Matthews, Jolie C.. "Dominant Narratives and Historical Perspective in Time Travel Stories: A Case Study of Doctor Who." The Social Studies [add city] 2020-10-09, 76-90. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Matthews, Jolie C.. "Dominant Narratives and Historical Perspective in Time Travel Stories: A Case Study of Doctor Who." The Social Studies, edition, sec., 2020-10-09
  • Turabian: Matthews, Jolie C.. "Dominant Narratives and Historical Perspective in Time Travel Stories: A Case Study of Doctor Who." The Social Studies, 2020-10-09, section, 76-90 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Dominant Narratives and Historical Perspective in Time Travel Stories: A Case Study of Doctor Who | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Dominant_Narratives_and_Historical_Perspective_in_Time_Travel_Stories:_A_Case_Study_of_Doctor_Who | work=The Social Studies | pages=76-90 | date=2020-10-09 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=28 June 2022 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Dominant Narratives and Historical Perspective in Time Travel Stories: A Case Study of Doctor Who | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Dominant_Narratives_and_Historical_Perspective_in_Time_Travel_Stories:_A_Case_Study_of_Doctor_Who | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=28 June 2022}}</ref>