For History Professor Karel Van Nieuwenhuyse, the idea of “Flemish canons”, a set of anchor points defining Flanders as a nation that students and newcomers would need to learn, is objectionable.
“It’s not a good idea,” the University of Leuven professor commented on Tuesday on Radio 1 when asked about the proposal, mooted by Nieuw Vlaamse Alliantie (N-VA) leader Bart De Wever in a memorandum published on Monday. “In that way History becomes a tool of politics, and we see where that has led other countries.”
The note, presented on Monday to the Christen Democratisch en Vlaams (CD&V) and Open Vld parties, is meant to serve as a basis for negotiations on the formation of the next Flemish government.
For Van Nieuwenhuyse, who specialises in Dialectics of History, it is also not reasonable to have an identity thrust on you. “Advocating such Flemish canons tends towards a type of superiority that I do not at all like,” he commented. “A society is based on very many external influences. This is a discourse in favour of an exclusive rather than inclusive mechanism. The idea just needs to be scrapped.”