Memories of the past, actions in the present: violent pasts today

See below, a very interesting announcement for a workshop at the ‘Thinking with History from the 21st Century’ conference in Madrid this September


Conference: Thinking with History from the 21st Century is to be held in Madrid, September 2014, organized by Association of Contemporary History .

Abstracts for papers are invited for the workshop MEMORIES OF THE PAST, ACTIONS IN THE PRESENT: VIOLENT PASTS TODAY, co-organized by Elina Liikanen (University of Helsinki) and Dr. Sara Santamaría.

Over the last decades, fierce debates on how societies should address the memories of a violent past have emerged in the public sphere in many regions of the world, especially in emerging democracies. Several historians have placed the beginning of a widespread interest in survivor testimonies and a change in attitude towards the status of victims in the “post May 68” period at the end of the seventies (Annette Wieviorka 1998, Peter Novick 1999). Since the 1990’s the world has witnessed an explosion of “cultures of memory” (Andreas Huyssen 2002) that, despite many national and regional differences, also share a number of common features.

The complexity of these battles over memory highlights the need to strengthen the dialogue between Contemporary History and other disciplines (Cultural Studies, Sociology, Anthropology, Philosophy, etc.) concerned with the uses of violent past events (such as war, dictatorship, colonial past, genocide, attempt, etc.) in the present. This workshop invites researchers from all relevant disciplines to contribute papers that, on the base of case studies and theoretical reflection, discuss the ways in which contemporary societies negotiate the meaning of past events. We welcome proposals that address, among others, the following questions:

How past events take on new meanings over time; what role different agents (witnesses, victims and perpetrators, family and descendants, historians, politicians, activists, journalists, artists, etc.) and media (historiography, monuments, literature, film, painting, graffiti, video games, comics, etc.) play in these processes; how various discourses related to the cultures of memory (e.g., the human rights discourse, the Shoah) exceed national boundaries and circulate around the world, and what changes these discourses undergo in new contexts.

The primary language of the workshop will be Spanish, but contributions in English are also welcome.

The deadline for submitting proposals is 1 March 2014. Proposals should include an e-mail address, a paper title, an abstract (no more than 500 words) and a biographical note.

Please, find further details here:


About nicholasjoncrane

Assistant Professor of Geography at University of Wyoming
This entry was posted in Calls, Convocatorias, Conferences, History, Historiography, Memory. Bookmark the permalink.

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