Annual Conference

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Every December, the Historical Dialogues, Justice and Memory Network holds a multi-day conference that brings together scholars and practitioners who work in the field of historical dialogue. These individuals have the opportunity to present their projects, scholarly papers, and case studies. The conference provides a space for networking, opportunities to share knowledge and experiences, and establishes AHDA’s identity as a forum for historical dialogue. As an annual event, the conference is also used to explore different topics and challenges within the field, and to reach out to a wide cross-section of practitioners and scholars working in the field. 2017 will mark the sixth annual conference.

2017 Conference

Present Past: Time, Memory, and the Negotiation of Historical Justice

In considering the politics and policies of commemorating the past, this conference probes how public discourses about memory change over time. Papers that explore how the past is known, interpreted, conceptualized, or articulated, and how such representations evolve with the passage of time, are welcome. How has the passage of time changed the way memories of historical violence, atrocity and genocide are represented in the public sphere? In what ways do political, social and cultural forces influence, appropriate, or stifle these memories in different ways as the original event recedes into the more distant past? Related topics include the globalization of memory, and with it the increasing popularity of commemorative memorial practices. The proliferation of museums and memorials, the increase in confessional or memorial literature, and the surge of memory laws against Holocaust and genocide denial are some examples of the historical, cultural and legal phenomena that speak to questions of how individuals and communities remember. These modes of ‘making the past present’ speak not only to the passage of time and the forces of multidirectional memory, but also to the ways in which communities understand issues of justice and accountability, memory and amnesia, prevention and the culture of ‘never again’. This conference thus seeks papers that explore the ways in which communities negotiate narrativization of the past over time, and what the implications of such changes in public discourses of memory suggest in terms of present and future political realities, conflict transformation and atrocity prevention, and the role that history itself has in shaping or re-shaping the ways in which individuals and groups relate to the past and future.

Previous Conferences

2016 Conference

  • Confronting Violent Pasts and Historical (In)Justice
  • NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust, and Genocide Studies, Amsterdam, December 1-3, 2016

2015 Conference

  • The Politics of Memory: Victimization, Violence, and Contested Narratives of the Past
  • Columbia University, New York, December 3-5 2015

2014 Conference

  • Human Rights and Memory
  • Lund University, Sweden, December 4-6, 2014

2013 Conference

  • Historical Justice and Memory: Questions of Rights and Accountability in Contemporary Society
  • Columbia University, New York, December 5-7 2013

2012 Conference

  • Local Memory, Global Ethics, Justice: The Politics of Historical Dialogue in Contemporary Society
  • Columbia University, New York, December 11-14 2012
  • Historical Justice and Memory: An Interdisciplinary Conference
  • Swinburne University of Technology, Australia, February 14-17, 2012