Fostering intercultural competence in a university classroom: working on historical empathy through the work "The thing around your neck" by Chimamanda Ngozi Aadichie

Andrea Perales, Dorleta Apaolaza, María Orcasitas-Vicandi.
Aula de Encuentro

Historical empathy is defined as the process of cognitive and affective commitment that students acquire with historical figures to understand their experiences, decision-making and actions. Historical empathy involves understanding how people in the past thought, felt, decided, acted, and faced consequences within a specific historical and social context. In this way, historical empathy is a fundamental tool for the paradigm shift in historical teaching that connects three processes: historical contextualization, perspective taking, and affective connection. In this way, the proposal we present has two objectives: to work historical empathy from literature, a novel and unique approach, and to work it in a university classroom. We consider that due to the exclusion that women have traditionally suffered, their literature is the most pertinent for the development of this proposal. For this reason, we will use the short-story “A Private Experience”, included in The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.