Battle narrative is among the oldest forms of story-telling. Through the epic, it has defined heroism and martial masculinity and told the tale of social groups from tribes to empires and nations. It has also figured prominently in painting and sculpture. Yet the Great War confronted those fighting it with multiple shifts in perspective and cognition. In a democratic age, the hero was less the commanding general (who rarely fought) than the collective common soldier. Moreover, the kind of war he confronted defied prior understandings of combat since it involved the stalemate of trench warfare and unprecedented levels of death and destruction. This lecture will explore how, and how much, the verbal and visual languages of battle changed during the Great War, with particular reference to the great encounters of 1916 in the west, Verdun and the Somme.
John Horne is emeritus Professor of Modern European History and Director of the Centre for War Studies, at Trinity College Dublin, and Oliver Smithies Visiting Fellow at Balliol College, Oxford in 2015-2016. He is a member of the Executive Board of the Historial de la Grande Guerre, Péronne and of the scientific council of the French Mission du Centenaire de la Première Guerre Mondiale. He is also a Member of the Royal Irish Academy. He has written extensively on modern France and the transnational history of the Great War. Among his recent books are: (with Alan Kramer), German Atrocities, 1914. A History of Denial (New Haven, Yale, 2001), translated into German (2003) and French (2005); (ed.) A Companion to World War One (Oxford, Blackwell-Wiley, 2010); (ed.) Vers la guerre totale: le tournant de 1914-1915 (Paris, Tallandier, 2010); and with Robert Gerwarth, War in Peace: Paramilitary Violence in Europe after the Great War (Oxford University Press, 2012).
When items become objects in the museum, they take - according to Bernd Hüppauf - on a certain "cult value" in war discourse since they have absorbed the war on the battlefield as a consequence of the interaction between material and combat. Particularly as the self-perception of the modern western democracies of the 21st century has been coined by a delegitimisation of violence, museums and exhibitions are faced with the question of how to handle this "cult value". In this context, it is crucial to recognise that the value of the items, as well as their inclusion in museal narrations, are constantly redefined in ever changing negotiation processes. While for a long time military museums served primarily to flaunt the spoils of war and to legitimise war, they are now progressively taking on the role of institutions for the commemoration of victims. The lecture takes a look at four museums, each of which is the central military museum of its respective state and can look back on a long tradition: the Musée de l'Armée (Paris), the Militärhistorisches Museum (Dresden), the Heeresgeschichtliche Museum (Vienna) and the Hadtörténeti Múzeum (Budapest). It analyses the forms in which the end of the Second World War in 1945 is presented. Particular focus is put on the merging of front and hinterland in this phase of the war. Additionally, the question of to what extent the museums enlarge on the connection between war and NS-crimes is addressed. Concomitantly, the lecture also examines to what extent the exhibitions represent the classical subjects of Military Policy and Operation History and/or - in terms of a cultural and socio-historical perspective - the day-to-day life of the soldiers, killing and being killed, war crimes, as well as post-war cultures of remembrance.
Dr Andrea Brait is University Assistant at the Department for Contemporary History and at the Department of Didactics (University of Innsbruck). She studied History, Political Science, German philology in Vienna; 2011-2014 Research Assistent and Organisational Head of the project "Offene Grenzen, neue Barrieren und gewandelte Identitäten" (www.univie.ac.at/offenegrenzen), was in 2012/13 Senior Lecturer at the Department of History at the University of Vienna (Field: Didactics of History), and worked from 2008 to 2010 as a contract Researcher at the Department of Economic and Social History at the University of Vienna. She is specialized in museology (in German-speaking regions), collective and cultural memory, national and transnational identities, places of memory and in the history of Austria and Germany in the 20th and 21st century.
The growing urge to experience the past combined with an increasing presence of digital media in today's society, has had a profound impact on how historical narratives are being conceptualised in a museum context (Dicks, 2003). Although most Dutch World War II museums are wary to implement experience-based presentation strategies into their exhibitions, most of them do use digital and audio-visual technologies to provide visitors with personal stories about this history (Somers, 2014). These techniques, which are often meant to stimulate temporal proximity and engagement, hence, strongly influence how World War II is narrativized in museum exhibitions. Apart from this general development in historical culture, the narrative structure and rhetorical devices used in exhibitions also stem from developments in the post-war collective memory of World War II, which in the case of the UK, for instance, is strongly rooted in interpretations that were formed during the conflict itself (Connelly, 2004). This contribution will examine the narrative strategies that have been used in museum exhibitions in the Netherlands and the UK on the military and civilian experiences of both countries in the Second World War. It will show how specific narrative structures and devices in combination with various forms of 'in context' and 'in situ' types of display (Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, 1998) impact the storyline of the exhibition and the perspectives that have been integrated. Furthermore, it will reveal how developments in historiography and schematic narrative templates (Wertsch, 2004), such as one based on the English Armada against Spain of 1589, have affected the construction of these museum narratives on World War II. Lastly, through a comparison of the English and Dutch exhibitions, this contribution will reflect on the impact of both countries' unique historical context and post-war collective memories on the way in which this history has been conceptualised.
Pieter de Bruijn (1986) is an assistant professor at the Open University of the Netherlands. Currently he is responsible for courses on cultural heritage in the Bachelor Programme Cultural Studies and is a member of the coordinating team of a programme that aims to stimulate the valorisation of research on cultural education and the interaction between academics and practitioners. De Bruijn obtained his PhD at Erasmus University Rotterdam in 2014 on the study of heritage education on the Transatlantic Slave Trade, World War II and the Holocaust in the Netherlands and the UK. He also carried out a small-scale study at the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies on teaching the history of World War II from a citizenship education perspective. His research interests meet at the intersection of cultural heritage, history education and historical culture
This paper focuses on the place of Dutch veterans from the last colonial war in the Dutch East Indies in the Dutch museological landscape. Next to Museum Bronbeek in Arnhem, that almost exclusively deals with the decolonisation of Indonesia, I will refer to three Museums in Amsterdam (Amsterdam Museum, Resistance Museum and Rijksmuseum), the former metropole of the Dutch Empire. I will discuss the different war narratives in the displays of these museums and the way they have developed in the recent years. I will identify the related competing silences and discuss their meaning.
Martijn Eickhoff is is a cultural historian who specializes in the historical culture of times of war, regime change and mass violence. He works as a Senior Researcher at NIOD - Institute for War, Holocaust, and Genocide Studies in Amsterdam. Eickhoff studied history at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and wrote his PhD (2003) on Dutch pre- and proto-history during the Nazi-occupation. In 2005/6 he was an NWO-fellow at FSU Jena where he conducted research on SS-excavations in occupied Ukraine and Czechoslovakia. In collaboration with Marieke Bloembergen (KITLV), he is finalizing a book manuscript on (post)-colonial archaeology and heritage formation in Indonesia. For his current research project Memory Landscapes and Regime Change in Semarang (1965-1966), see: http://www.niod.nl/nl/projecten/memory-landscapes-and-regime-change-1965-66-semarang.
From the end of the WWII to the mid 90s of the last century, the documents regarding nazi and fascist atrocities against Italian civilians and soldiers have been kept hidden in an illegal archive of folders containing reports of inquiry, survivors' affidavits and so on. Only after 1994 inquiries and trials have been carried out. Among them, a very big importance has played the Kefalonia case, regarding the biggest massacre of Italian soldiers made by the Germans. The inquiry has led to a trial and this has changed the common perception of war and humanitarian crimes not just by a juridical point of view, but above all from a historical and social point of view. The "happy" ending of the trial, with a life imprisonment sentence to a lance corporal judged responsible of a mass execution, has been possible thanks above all to the statements of survivors and witnesses, but it has been also spoiled by the German refusal, in this occasion and in others, to give an application to the sentences of the Italian courts. It's a big and very hot topic in the European Union: the two countries had been looking for diplomatic and political agreements because a juridical understanding was impossible. This has led to German economic investments in Italian projects regarding history and memory, but this solution has left the question of transitional justice pending. By the study of the trial regarding Kefalonia atrocity, I analyze the role of survivors and witnesses in the construction of the same trial and, above all, in the general and public image of this kind of trials, so late respect the events they treat. I would like to understand, in national and international context, if a so late and partial transitional justice could be useful for the countries involved and, also, in the private sphere, for survivors and victims' families and descendants.
Isabella Insolvibile (Naples, Italy, 1978), PhD, is a postdoctoral fellow at Deutsches Historisches Institut of Rome and she is studying Allied captivity in Italy in the period 1940-1943. Previously, she was a research fellow of Università degli Studi di Napoli "Federico II" and of Associazione Nazionale Partigiani d'Italia. She is also a member of the Istituto Nazionale per la Storia del Movimento di Liberazione in Italia's scientific committee and technical adviser of the Military Court of Rome for some inquiries regarding nazi atrocities against Italian soldiers. She is also a member of an Italian team, supported by German Foreign Office, working to the Guide to the nazi-fascist crimes in Italy. In the last three years she was a speaker in conferences in Italy, Portugal, Greece, Poland and Lithuania. Her main publications are Kos 1943-1948. La strage, la storia (2010), Wops. I prigionieri italiani in Gran Bretagna (1941-46) (2012), Archiviazione definitiva. La sorte dei fascicoli esteri dopo il rinvenimento dell'armadio della vergogna, "Giornale di storia contemporanea", XVIII (2 n.s.), 1, 2015.
In 2011, Colombia's government announced the beginning of the Transitional Justice process. Its goal was to "facilitate, truth, justice and integral reparations for victims, with the guarantee of non-repetition" (Colombia Law 1448 2011). The announcement included the definition of the subject of collectivity redress: 1. groups and social political organizations; 2. communities determined by legal, political or social recognition based on cultural, territorial or institutional criteria, or a common purpose (Colombia Law 1448 2011:152). Journalist, media workers, victim's families and media institutions harmed during the conflict as a consequence of the journalist practice were recognized as the subject with the right of individual and collective redress. This paper addresses tensions and ambiguities associated with identification with and definition of victimhood by journalists. Based on interview narratives I explore different meanings of recognition of individual and collective victimhood; and the tensions those meanings brought to the collective reparation process. The paper has two objectives, first to address difficulties that arise from the Transitional Justice process itself, with a large number of unresolved procedural and institutional issued as well as mistrusted among the actors. And second to stress the relevance of instability and insecurity related to ongoing violent conflict as a larger context of practicing journalism. The research points the need to theorize Transitional Justice beyond the legal approach, as a process with its own characteristics embedded in a specific context. For Colombia, the context includes peace negotiations with FARC guerrilla, ongoing violence by other militant groups, the State, military, political conflict and instability.
María Angélica Nieto is an independent researcher. She obtained her Bachelor's degree on Political Science from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Colombia (2009), a specialization in Journalism Studies at Universidad de los Andes, Colombia (2012). She recently obtained her Master of Arts degree on Development Studies at the International Institute of Social Studies-EUR, (2015) with focus on human rights, gender and conflict studies. In the past years she worked for the National Centre for Historical Memory in Colombia as a researcher of the report of violence against journalist "La Palabra y el Silencio" (available online in Spanish: http://centrodememoriahistorica.gov.co/micrositios/periodistas/index.html), and as an advocacy and protection advisor for the Foundation for Freedom Press (FLIP) in Colombia. Currently she is working on the analysis of the collective reparation process for journalists in Colombia.
War changes people. It changes their perception of who they are and it changes their perception of others and who they are. For more than twenty years now, Bosnia and Herzegovina has been recovering from the devastating war that raged the country in the 1990s. The three mutually exclusive ethno-nationalist narratives of the root causes and dynamics of the conflict, that of the Bosnian Serbs, Bosnian Croats and Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims), have been perpetuated ever since the war ended by politicians and public figures of each ethnic community. Reconciliation, however, is a complex process of the rebuilding of relationships and restoring of trust, stemming from all previously warring sides and including all levels of society. The poor political and economic conditions, together with a post-war situation of severe segregation and mistrust, create serious obstacles to any attempts aimed at improving this process. Although reasons for the war have been commonly attributed to ethnic, economic, social, and political factors, religion too has been a dividing factor. How can religious diversity today in Bosnia, home to three of the major world religions (Roman Catholicism, Serbian Orthodoxy, and Islam), be utilized by religious initiatives to lead the way out of confrontation to a path of coexistence? This paper, based on literature research and two months fieldwork in Bosnia, will focus on the role of religious initiatives in the reconciliation process in Bosnia. Religion is one of the key cultural components of each nation in Bosnia. Although many Bosnians share a negative image of religion and religious communities , it is argued that religious initiatives do contain powerful potentials for harbouring reconciliation between the different communities. Focusing on the role of Islamic initiatives in the reconciliation process in Bosnia, this paper will argue that it is within informal local initiatives, through the interreligious dialogue, that genuine reconciliation happens 'on the ground' between people of different faith.
Marieke Zoodsma has a BA in Cultural Anthropology, a minor in Conflict studies and graduated from the master program Holocaust and Genocide studies in 2014 at the University of Amsterdam. During her studies, she focused on the effects mass murder and genocide have on society and culture, and specialized in identity formation, religion, and reconciliation. For her master thesis, nominated for the UvA thesis price 2014/2015, she conducted two months of field research in Bosnia and Herzegovina in order to research the role of religious initiatives in the reconciliation process. Marieke has worked for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and is currently employed by the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide studies and as seminar lecturer at the University of Utrecht. Also, she is cofounder of and writer for the online platform www.whatishappeningnow.org.
Since the 1980s, many initiatives have been undertaken to preserve eyewitness memories of WWII, anticipating their forthcoming 'disappearance'. One of the most large-scale examples is the Visual History Archive (VHA, also known as the 'Spielberg-project'), containing video-interviews with over 53,000 eyewitnesses of the Shoah and other genocides, from 64 countries. In the Netherlands, hundreds of war-related oral history interviews are filed at DANS, the Data Archiving and Networked Services. Interestingly, the transition from memory to history is accompanied by, or perhaps expressed by, a shift from collecting and preserving to disclosing digitized eye witness interviews for a wider audience. In the last couple of years, multiple oral history collections have become available online, and can be watched, searched, browsed, compared, and sometimes also edited, annotated, and shared. This digital, public afterlife of individual memories, and the ways in which they are used, used, is an intriguing, but not yet intensively studied phenomenon. In my paper, I will explore the possible effects of online portals as mediums of individual memory. After presenting some examples of the uses of online testimonies in heritage and educational contexts, I will focus on a small online collection of video interviews about the Nazi bombardment of Rotterdam, May 1940. By analyzing these interviews within the context of public memory of the bombing, I will show that online testimonies, especially emotional accounts, challenge traditional narratives on the bombing as either military history, or as a history of urban development.
Dr. Susan Hogervorst is an assistant professor in historical culture and history didactics at Open Universiteit Nederland. At Erasmus University Rotterdam, she conducts a postdoc research project on the uses of digitized war testimonies in history and heritage education. This project is part of the research program 'War! Popular culture and European heritage of major armed conflicts', which has started in July 2015. She wrote a PhD on (trans)national memory cultures of concentration camp Ravensbrück (Erasmus University, 2010).
This paper is an outline of a family history/memory project focuses on two great-aunts, Luise Jodl-von Benda and Helene 'Tini' Klein-von Benda, who both wrote extensive accounts on their war-experiences. Both being drawn to national socialism in the late 1920s and both serving as secretaries for the General staff of the German army they had much in common. Yet their experiences and memories were also fundamentally different. Luise married general Alfred Jodl in March 1945 and during the Nuremberg Trials assisted his lawyers. Her sister Tini resigned from the NSDAP and her position in the Luftwaffe in the late 1930s and fell in love with a young half-Jewish doctor, who later was killed on the Eastern Front. She worked in a field hospital in Garmisch, where for a short period in May 1945 she nursed a group of Holocaust survivors from Auschwitz. By comparing the post-war memoirs of the two sisters, I will point at the similarities and differences in how these women dealt with loss and questions of individual guilt and responsibility. I explore the ways in which their personal stories interact with collective forms of storytelling and more general narrative patterns in German post-war memory culture. Also, I reflect on the risks and possibilities of this project and on my problematic position as a historian writing on a subject in which I am personally involved. Family memory tends to classify grandparents as victims, heroes, or at least as passive subjects of history, and often avoids painful and confronting questions of complicity and ideological conviction. Yet, as I will argue in this paper, such personal family stories also provide a particularly rich source for understanding the dilemmas and paradoxes in the lives of Germans during the war and the complex process of post-war memory.
Dr Bas von Benda-Beckmann is researcher at the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies. Currently he is working on a new project on the "Oranjehotel": the German political prison in Scheveningen: a micro-historical approach to resistance, persecution and captivity in the Netherlands during the German occupation. The present paper is part of a personal/sideline project on family memory and history, which is funded by the Fonds voor Journalistieke projecten. Among his publications are German Historians and the Bombing of German Cities. The Contested Air War. Studies of the Netherlands Institute for War Documentation, (Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam 2015) and De Velser Affaire. Een omstreden oorlogsgeschiedenis (Boom, Amsterdam: 2013), which was nominated for the Libris Geschiedenis Prijs in 2014.
The Sternlager was a section of the concentration camp
Bergen-Belsen where, from the beginning of 1944, some 4000
Jews from The Netherlands were gathered. Not, by way of
exception, in order to be murdered, but rather to be
exchanged for Germans being held in neutral or Allied
nations. Not an extermination camp, therefore; no gas
chambers, but from the winter of 1944, when evacuation
transports from throughout Germany led to overcrowding and
relentless epidemics, nonetheless a camp of death. Several
Jews from the Netherlands kept diaries which have been
preserved. This paper, however, by means of oral history,
will focus on the observations and anecdotes of Abraham
(Appie) van Linda (1915). Van Linda was the son of a cigar
maker and matzo baker and a mother who sold fruit at the
market. He himself had as a youth found himself in the
textile trade. As a modest additional voice, the historian
Jaap Meijer (1912-1993) will figure. Meijer and Linda knew
each other, both in the camp, and before, at the Jewish
Lyceum, in Amsterdam, founded by order of the Nazis. Like
Linda, Meijer was from a very poor background , but after
training as a teacher of Jewish religion, he studied history
at the university of Amsterdam. He became an intellectual.
On some point the narratives and ways of remembering Bergen-Belsen by Abraham van Linda and by Jaap Meijer would meet. But Appie Linda would represent the voice and the language of the Jewish marketplace, of trade, of textiles, which renders the terrible events it describes almost bearable for narrator and listener alike. To what genre do these stories belong, which function do they have? I will pose the same question of Jaap Meijer. It seems that Abraham van Linda has mastered in a sublime way the genres of both drama, humour, and magic. He is not only recording death but also celebrating life, wondering out loud about the small miracles which kept him and others alive. These are the words of a survivor who knows, consciously and unconsciously, that, having survived the Shoah, there are still questions of life and death. One of them is: how to remember.
Evelien Gans is holding the chair for Modern Jewish History at the University of Amsterdam (UvA). As a researcher she is affiliated at the Netherlands Institute for War, - Holocaust and Genocide Studies (NIOD). She wrote about modern Jewish ideologies and changing Jewish identities (PH.D. De kleine verschillen die het leven uitmaken / The small differences that make up life; 1999) and Jewish family history (e.g. the first part of a double biography of father and son Jaap en Ischa Meijer. Een joodse geschiedenis / A Jewish history 1912-1956; 2008). She publishes regularly on (anti-)Jewish stereotypes and historical and contemporary antisemitism (starting in 1984 with Gojse nijd & joods narcisme / Goyish envy & Jewish narcissism). Right now she is finishing, with co-editor Remco Ensel, the volume: The Holocaust, Israel and ‘the Jew’. Histories of antisemitism in postwar Dutch society.
The International Brigades saw the inclusion of a vast variety of volunteers from many different nations. While these volunteers encountered similar situations during the Spanish Civil War their recollections of the conflict vary across cultures. Cultural differences influence how the volunteers experienced the war just as societal reception alters the way such veterans reflect on their past. By critically examining interviews with English and Dutch veterans of the International Brigades I show just how large an effect such differences can have. My hypothesis is that the positive reception the English volunteers received allowed them to talk about their experiences freely and over time form a set narrative that approaches written war stories in its structure and use of tropes, as identified for instance by Kate Mcloughlin. Additionally, while their personal accounts feed the collective and cultural memory surrounding the Spanish Civil War they are themselves influenced by it, which leads to the inclusion of stereotypes concerning not only the Spanish Civil War, but also English cultural perceptions of war as argued by scholars such as Paul Fussell. The Dutch volunteers firstly experienced a distinctly more negative reception upon their return which not only prevented them from forming a solid structure in their narratives but also delayed and prevented the processing of trauma. The effect of negative perception has been shown in a number of studies (see: Hunt, Robbins). Secondly, because the Dutch volunteers lived in a society where warfare is much less accepted than in England and where combatants are mistrusted sooner than respected, different cultural values will be present in their narratives. My research suggests that the kind reception of returning veterans receive has at least as much effect on trauma and narrative development as the actual events the soldiers witnessed.
Tim Scheffe recently graduated cum laude from the Research Master Literature programme at VU University. In his MA thesis he compared the stories of Dutch and English veterans of the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War with regards to narrative structure and trauma development. He is involved with the Dutch International Brigade community and helps in the organization of lectures in conjuncture with the annual commemoration. He is currently editing a memoir on the Spanish Civil War.
The concept of trauma is afflicted with assumptions about its presumed existence as an invisible wound, that testifies to the reality of something incommensurably horrible. Informed by early psychoanalytic discourse and the notion of the postmodern sublime, both individual and cultural trauma are widely considered unrepresentable. While it has often been asked what this presumption implies for past and future cultural productions, it has rarely been talked about the strategies that contemporary artists already employ to create scenes, images and narratives of trauma: Is trauma incorporated as a condition and a construction? How do artists challenge the means of representation within the aesthetic regime? How are ethics and aesthetics balanced? Based in art theory, my paper critically reviews and challenges the concept of trauma as the unrepresentable. I am particularly interested in installation art, because it involves the spectator's body: Trauma is performatively generated as a physical and mental experience, absorbed by "aesthetic perception" - the institutional framework of the museum or gallery space. Between fictional and real layers, one artistic production can embed immersion, empathy and affect, while simultaneously evoking a critical, meta- reflective counterpart. Trauma can thus be a theme and an aesthetic strategy. Supporting this argument with concrete examples, I will introduce the video installation "5000 Feet is the Best" (2011) by Israeli artist Omer Fast, and the sound installation "The Killing Machine" (2007) by Canadian duo Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller.
Anna-Lena Werner is a PhD candidate at Freie Universität Berlin, researching the subject of trauma in contemporary installation art. Having studied art history, theatre studies (Freie Universität Berlin) and art theory (Chelsea College of Art and Design, London), she curated group shows in project spaces such as Savvy Contemporary and Archiv Massiv, and publishes in magazines such as Performance Research, Monopol Magazine, Schirn Magazine and kopenhagen.dk. Engaging in digital research and curatorial practices, she founded and runs the online magazine artfridge.de and is research associate for Black Mountain Research, a collaborative research project between Freie Universität Berlin and Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart - Berlin.
Narratives of war augment history. In a civilization that has turned, as Appadurai (2006) terms it, into 'the civilization of clashes', which, in the words of Stolorow's (2007), has changed the present age into the 'age of trauma', the narratives of war act out whatever the victims of war work through. LaCapra's (1998) concept of acting out and working through, with special reference to Tal's (1995) notion of the analogous relationship between a survivor's mind and a videotape play a crucial role in investigating historically truthful details in narratives of war. As most of the details, which a survivor of war witnesses by going through the situation s/he has found him/herself in, may seem too minuscule or ordinary to be recorded under the spectrum of official account, called history, the narratives of war cater for filling in any possible lacunas in the officially recorded historical accounts. As Caruth (1996) puts it 'We are implicated in each other's trauma', the present study follows Craps and Buelens (2008) in shifting from the Euro-American-centered analyses of war narratives and, thus, examines Afghanistan-born Atiq Rahimi's Earth and Ashes (2002) to see how this narrative of war goes beyond merely telling a tale of Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and how it records what the Afghan people went through during those times. This analysis, carried out under the theoretical framework of literary trauma studies, shows that the narratives of war have the potential to use the flashbacks of traumatized characters in a bid to bring forth their memories, use them as witnesses to the event of the actual incident of war, and record their statements to build a history that can amend for any possible erasure of the official historical accounts.
Mr Inayat Ullah has been teaching at the department of Basic Sciences and Humanities at NUST College of E&ME, Rawalpindi, Pakistan. His area of research has been to investigate trauma fiction with reference to, and significance with, historical accounts. He completed his Masters in English Language and Literature at the University of Peshawar, in 2003, got his M.Phil degree in American Studies from Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan, in 2010. His PhD on trauma fiction with reference to the history of Afghanistan is in the final stages.
This paper scrutinizes ways in which war is remembered and narrated about in history textbooks and explores flashbacks in textbook war narrations. Newly added war narratives can contain flashbacks from the past in order to generate meaning or continuity. War narratives can be 'multidirectional': they can cross-reference, interact between and borrow from different times, events and places (Rothberg 2009). Northrop Frye used the word 'resonance' ? a reverberating sound ? for echoing memories or images and stressed the potential of their metaphorical use, moving away from the specific original in a particular context, bridging temporal distance and receiving universal significance (Frye 1981). In this way, some historical war events can function as important anchors in the narration of other war events and in collective memory. Therefore, in this paper I will explore if, how and why textbook narratives on World War II were incorporated into the canon of existing war narratives by analyzing whether the contents of older histories were interwoven within this new writing. I will focus specifically on the defeat of the Spanish Armada under the reign of Elizabeth I (1588) in English history textbooks and the start of the Dutch Revolt (1568-1584) in Dutch history textbooks. To what extent do textbook narratives about World War II interact with and acquire meaning through the imagination and narration of these sixteenth century events? Discourse analysis is an important element of my research method; I study images, recurring plotlines, rhetoric and language. To illustrate my arguments, I will refer to examples from Dutch and English history textbooks for students between the ages of 11-14, published in the period 1925-1965.
Tina van der Vlies works as a lecturer and PhD candidate at the Centre for Historical Culture at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. Her research project Historical Scholarship and School History: National Narratives in Dutch and English Textbooks, 1920-2010 is funded by The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (2011-2016). In 2015, during the International Standing Conference for the History of Education (ISCHE) in Istanbul, she was awarded with the ISCHE Paper Prize for her paper 'Multidirectional War Narratives in History Textbooks' which she presented at the ISCHE conference 'Education, War and Peace' in London in 2014. In 2010, Van der Vlies graduated cum laude in History at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. A year later, she graduated cum laude from the University of Leiden with a master in Education.
1989 was the year when Polish history textbooks were freed from the official control of the communist state. It was also the time when the Pandora's Box was opened and diverse, but often difficult memories and narratives of the past were released into the public sphere. This paper asks how have the narratives about the Second World War transformed in Polish history textbooks since 1989. It compares and analyses representations of controversial events of the war: the Jedwabne massacre and expulsions of Germans. By doing so, it demonstrates that from 'black and white visions' of history in the early 1990s, textbook transformed into today's complex narratives about heroes, victims, perpetrators, bystanders and witnesses. This does not mean that there is one new version of the past, but rather a multiplicity of various textbook narratives about the war. They range from the heroic vision of nation to the narratives about Polish perpetrators. This paper attempts to explain these differences by situating the narratives within the national and transnational politics of history. It examines if textbooks are implicated in debates about Polish involvement in the Holocaust and about the treatment of Germans at the end of the war. It poses a question of whether textbooks today are not only objects, but also subjects of national and transnational politics of Second World War memory.
Sylwia Bobryk is a fourth year PhD student at the University of Portsmouth, UK, supervised by Professor Wolfram Kaiser. In her research project entitled Narrating the past? Changing images of a nation and Europe in Polish history textbooks since 1989, Sylwia links the study of narratives with the analysis of networks of dominant domestic and transnational institutions and individuals who influence the content of history textbooks. In doing so, she shows how domestic actors compete for their visions of the past and their memories to be embodied in history textbooks. Before starting her PhD Sylwia completed an International Masters Degree Programme in European Studies (IMPREST) and was awarded master degrees from the University of Portsmouth and from the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland.
The paper analyses the changes in the narrative of the Second World War in Serbia, focusing on the parallel changes in the interpretation of the Yugoslav Partisans and the Yugoslav Army in the Homeland (the Chetniks) as the most prominent subjects of debates and the official politics of memory. First, the paper provides an overview of the changing narratives of the war, from the first post-war years to the year 2000. Second, the paper centres on the politics of memory on the Second World War in post-Miloševic Serbia, arguing that the year 2000 can be considered as a great turn in the interpretation of the war. Looking at the tools of the state-funded memory politics, such as commissions, legislation, textbooks, commemorations, and the official holidays, the paper focuses on the changing narrative of the role of the Partisans and the Chetniks, arguing that there is a turn in the understanding of the war, which started developing in the previous decades. The simplified interpretation of the Yugoslav Partisans as the liberators and the Chetniks as collaborators present in Yugoslavia went through different revisions during the 1980s and the 1990s. After the fall of Miloševic, there has been an equalization of these movements as two antifascist movements of Serbia with a later tendency, as seen in the state-funded textbooks, to interpret the Chetniks in a more positive light than the Partisans. By this, one can argue that a complete turn in the narrative of the war has happened in 70 years. The paper adds a perspective of the inconsistency in the official narrative, appearing during the visits of Dmitri Medvedev and Vladimir Putin in 2009 and 2014, when the official interpretation of the Second World War changes in order to foster the diplomatic relations with the Russian Federation.
Jelena Ðureinovic is a doctoral candidate in Contemporary History at the International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture and a lecturer at the Department of Eastern European History, Justus Liebig University Giessen. She holds a BA in Media Studies from the University of Novi Sad and a MA degree in Nationalism Studies from the Central European University in Budapest. Her current project focuses on the official politics of memory on the Second World War in contemporary Serbia, examining the process of the re-evaluation of the Yugoslav Army in the Homeland and its development since the 1980s. Her research interests revolve around cultural memory studies with a special focus on the post-Yugoslav space.
Postwar Bosnia has become a battlefield over how the war experience is remembered. Since the end of the 1992-95 war, it has seen a proliferation of remembering (and forgetting) practices that, this paper will argue, perpetuate the nation's self-perception as a victim and, therefore, obstruct chances for reconciliation and conflict transformation. On several recent examples, the paper will demonstrate that majority of these practices do not allow for creation of a space where narratives of similar experiences on different sides could be shared. While the shared narrative does not necessarily mean a shared guilt, it is primarily understood like this and therefore, resented. The current mnemonic practices through its selectiveness and exclusiveness do not contribute to a process of reconciliation but rather establish separate cultural and historical identities that seem to only diverge from each other as the time passes. The paper will ask why there is a crisis in imagining an alternative to the divisive official and vernacular memory and what that alternative might be.
Maja Vodopivec is Assistant Professor at Leiden University College. She has been trained in a multidisciplinary way in Peace and Conflict Studies and Japanese Studies. She received a PhD in Peace and Conflict Studies and Area Culture Studies from Tokyo University of Foreign Studies in 2012, with degrees from Tokyo University of Foreign Studies (MA Peace and Conflict Studies) and University of Belgrade (BSc in Economics and BA in Japanese Language and Literature). At Leiden University College she convenes the Global Challenges: Peace and Justice course and Peace and Conflict Studies and teaches Politics of Memory, Conflict and Democracy and Systems Approaches to Conflict Analysis courses. She was born and raised in Sarajevo.
With the following proposal we want to open up and discuss how art and aesthetics play the role in transforming viewers from being consumers or spectators only, into being actively involved participants in memorization practices and post-conflict identity building. In the focus of this research are the tools, symbolism and narratives that artists have been massively using at the 20th Anniversary Commemoration of Srebrenica Genocide. While public narratives about violent past are likely to be nurtured by ideological alienation from different sides, we seek for the potentials where narrative storytelling through performative or visual aesthetics goes beyond providing information and awareness. In the focus of this presentation are the questions how arts in such context creates sensory and sensuous experiences: how, thus, it becomes "transformative, auratic, coordinating soul, hand and eyes." (Benjamin 1992, 107). We want to analyze aesthetics in the role of politics and arts as the need for the reflection of historical moments and different identities, that "help people recover meaning in the face of senseless, brutal violence, violence that produces voiceless screams of terror and insanity" (Denzin 2003, 6). The presentation will be accompanied by rich visual collection of the art works, created at the occasion of 20th Anniversary Commemoration of Srebrenica Genocide. We will question the phenomena of 'over-memorization' and the ethical codex in memorizing through arts. Imageries will serve to discuss either this creative expansion supported mainstream narratives and thus, deepen re-traumatization and re-victimization or even created new victimizations; or on the other hand, it served as public pedagogy to critically reflect diverse perspectives of the collective trauma.
Nena Mocnik is a researcher at the Center for Cultural and Religious Studies at University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. She holds a PhD in Balkan Studies, with the focus on sexuality and political violence. As an engaged researcher, activist and performance artist, she is interested in critical theory, human rights, cultures of conflict, social oppression and sexualities. Her written academic works have been published in national and international scientific monographs and journals and presented on conferences worldwide. In 2014, she was Fulbright visiting researcher and applied drama practitioner at University of Southern California, School for Dramatic Arts, Applied Drama Program and in 2015 a Brown University Fellow (Brown International Advanced Research Institute). In the fall 2015 she was a visiting researcher (COST Action) at University of Copenhagen at the study of collective memory, sexuality and trauma.
In postwar periods, local authorities that had stayed on during enemy occupation are either replaced or purged of 'tainted' elements and subsequently re-established in their legitimacy. In this paper, the case of the Belgian judiciary after the Second World War will show how a self-constructed postwar narrative proved to be a decisive factor in the process of re-establishing legitimacy. During the German occupation, the Belgian judiciary carried out a 'policy of the lesser evil', which included concessions to the occupant, among other things in the form of communication of criminal records and information. However, from 1942 onwards, most leading magistrates were no longer willing to compromise. This change of strategy was based on their political and legal beliefs, but also a reaction to the results of their earlier policy, which had unintendedly led to the execution of members of the resistance and 'ordinary' criminals by the occupier. After the liberation, the dualism of administrative collaboration (or accommodation) and (passive) resistance was a potential threat to the image and legitimacy of the judiciary. Whereas after the First World War the magistracy could profit from the prestige obtained by a strike in 1918, the second German occupation had known fewer glorious acts of ostentatious resistance. Instead, the prestige of individual heroes and martyrs served as a means to brush up the image of the entire professional group. Unwanted elements were discreetly purged by an internal committee, which allowed for the preservation of a (self) image of a patriotic, resistant judiciary. The fact that the postwar government entrusted the legal reckoning with collaborators to representatives of the traditional judiciary, helped to re-establish its legitimacy (and vice versa). However, anti-establishment political groups such as communists and Flemish nationalists remained critical of the role played by the judiciary during and after the war.
Jan Julia Zurné studied History at the University of Amsterdam and worked as an intern for the NIOD program 'Legacies of collaboration'. In 2012, she obtained her Research Master's degree with a thesis on the post war trials of Dutch collaborators in the Holocaust. She is currently working at the Cegesoma in Brussels and Ghent University on a PhD thesis on the attitude of the Belgian judiciary towards the resistance during the Second World War.
The Italian Futurist movement was born in 1909 with the "Manifesto Futurista" published by Tommaso Marinetti on the French newspaper "Le Figarò". The art movement spread across multiple sectors of the modern arts through several kind of contaminations: beside painting, photography and film there were many examples of literature and theatre, of advertising and journalism and so on. The Futurist artists not only celebrated "modernity" - the industrial city, the cars, the speed and the struggle - but, most of all, they celebrated destruction as the making of the new. Thus, they were committed to build a new kind of national identity based on the dynamism offered by industrialism, mechanization and technology. Only within this kind of national-modernist frame Futurist artists could practice their own personality and originality. Futurist poetics were seeking experimentation, fragmentation of forms, collision of time and space, dynamic movement, in order to destroy any common sense. This work of destruction, against any form and content, was based on an strong conceptual assumption: the glorification of war. War, not just as metaphor but, according to its true meaning, the actual combat between people, a "joyful" means of destruction which had to be celebrated with childish recklessness and, at the same time, with political determination. The paper aims to analyze and illustrate the Futurist poetics of writers such as Marinetti, or of painters like Umberto Boccioni (who died in the battlefield in 1916), in relation to their effective participation in the First World War.
Pinella Di Gregorio is Full Professor in Contemporary History at the Department of Political and Social Sciences of the University of Catania. She earned her Ph.D in History and Civilization at the European University Institute of Fiesole (Firenze). She has been research scholar at the Center for European Studies of the Harvard University Cambridge - Massachusetts (1994; 1999) and Visiting scholar at the University College of London (2002, 2003, 2008). Since 2010 she is member of the Scientific Board of the Istituto Meridionale di Storia e Scienze Sociali, Rome. She is member of the 'Mediterranean Studies Research Group' - College of Liberal Arts - Auburn. University Alabama USA.
My paper will deal with the figure and the war book of Luigi Bartolini. He was a typical intellectual of the Italian society of the early Twentieth Century: painter, sculptor, writer, he was directly engaged in the First World War. Bartolini got a diploma in artistic composition in Siena, in Rome he listened university lessons in Italian and art history, while in Florence he met and became friends with Campana and Soffici. As a young interventionist, he was drafted in 1914 and fought all along the Great War. This experience produced a book of memories, Return to Carso (Ritorno sul Carso, 1930) on which I will focus my attention. In his book, Bartolini presented himself and the Italian soldiers as part of a tragedy, but he never depicted them as passive victims of the surrounding events. As it will emerge in my work, his book tried to show positively the War to the Italian public opinion, to which he reported the facts as he had lived: he tried neither to forget nor to enhance falsely the events in which the Italians had been involved during the battles on the Carso. The Author attempted to pay a tribute to the ex-combatants and sought to demonstrate that the Great War and its memory could be told and explained in a different way from the one adopted in those years by the Fascist regime. The latter had misrepresented interventionism and the War, crediting them to the Fascism itself, whereas they were events at whose birth it had contributed only partially and alongside with other political parties and movements. Bartolini's book deserves to be rediscovered after long decades of oblivion as a unique collective and individual narrative that was not in tune with the traditional description of a traumatic fact. A story, on the other hand, that enjoyed a good success among those who were interventionists before 1915, but who had not become Fascists after 1919.
Lucio Valent is Assistant Professor at the State University of Milan, Faculty of Arts, Department of History. He has studied the British foreign policy after the Second World War paying particular attention to the ties and relations of London with the European Continent and the European Communities (book, Europe is not Europe Without London: United Kingdom between EEC and the World, 1964-67, 2008). Among his interests there are the history of Northern Ireland's Civil War (book, Violence is not the Solution: Great Britain, the Holy See and the Northern Ireland Civil War, 1966-1972, 2011) and the John Paul II's image in United States and in American Continent (book, There is no Freedom Away From the Truth: John Paul II and United States, 1978-1987, 2014). Valent has been Research Fellow at Centro Universitario Cattolico (CUC) in Rome and appointed to the Jean Monnet Chair in European Integration History at Milan University. Recently he has started a research on the experience lived by the Italian intellectuals during the Great War.
The depiction of the experience of battle was central in literary responses to the First World War in the interwar years. But how were these battles brought across? What innovative techniques were employed to, on the one hand, attempt to give the reader an authentic rendition of the chaos of the war, and on the other, to find a language which enabled a depiction of the heinous and traumatic? The following paper will juxtapose key battle scenes from three major novels on the First World War, Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms, Richard Aldington's Death of a Hero and Ford Madox Ford's Parade's End, in order to further explore the relationship between Modernism and war novels. Each of these authors uses central Modernist techniques in bringing these battle scenes to life, ranging from Aldington's use of stream-of-consciousness, to Ford's temporal fragmentations, and Hemingway's narrative omissions. In addition to highlighting the importance of Modernist techniques in facilitating the ability to depict the horrors of war, the paper will also address the gendered undertones of these techniques. As Marianne Dekoven ("Modernism & Gender", 1999) has noted, "instances of modernist advocacy of firm, hard, dry, terse, classical masculinity, over against the messy, soft, vague, flowery, effusive, adjectival femininity of the late Victorians, abound, and instances of male modernist antifeminism and misogyny are legion" (176). Viewing this claim within the specific context of battle scenes, this paper will discuss the links between gendered narration, Modernist techniques and interpretation of the First World War in the interwar years.
Jan Jacob Hoffmann is PhD Fellow at the Department of Foreign Languages, University of Bergen. He is currently working on his dissertation, "The Two Front", which compares British, American and German literary responses to the First World War. The project is focused on how inter-war war novels employ the memory of the war to negotiate changes in masculinity. Hoffmann completed his Bachelor and Master degrees from the University of Bergen, majoring in English and History, and writing a master's thesis in English Modernist Literature. He also lectures in British Literature at the university. Hoffmann's research interests include Modernism, Gender Studies and literature as a medium of history.
This research paper studies a group of 170 inhabitants of the Polish town Oswiecim (Auschwitz), who organize reenactments of the Second World War, German occupation and Holocaust. People of Oswiecim are socialized into a complex interplay of cultural memory narratives about the Second World War and the Holocaust. The proximity of the former Auschwitz concentration camp, visited by thousands of tourists a day, exposes them to transnational varieties of meaning attributed to the place. But these inhabitants are also socialized into a narrative of Polish victimhood, of which Auschwitz is a symbol. Finally, a local narrative, which is influenced by family memories and daily engagement with physical remainders of the period, complements the picture. We argue in this paper that the locals, being hugely influenced by different narratives and material forms of cultural memory about the place where they live, choose to engage in performing the elements of the narrative which they see as the most representative of their local identity. What places are, in this case Auschwitz/Oswiecim, depends more on practices performed within them by 'guests' than by 'hosts' (Urry 2009). Therefore, individuals engaging in the 'acts of memory' in Oswiecim do this in a struggle for recognition of their stories and effectively their identity and right to belong in their hometown. The paper analyses video materials, conversations and pictures posted on social media websites. On a broader theoretical level, this paper investigates the possibilities of reconciling political and sociological theories of competing memory and memory politics (Hirsch 1995, Edkins 2003, Kansteiner 2002) and more socio-psychological theories of collective trauma (La Capra 2001, Caruth 1996, Felmand and Laub 1991), in analyzing reenactment of occupation, war, and genocide.
Aleksandra Kubica is currently a PhD student at King's College London's Department of Culture, Media and Creative Industries, working on mobile exhibitions of history museums. She holds an MA(Hons) degree in International Relations from the University of St Andrews in Scotland and an MA in Nationalism Studies and Jewish Studies from CEU (Hungary). Aleksandra was an Archival Fellow at the Center for Jewish History in New York, worked as researcher and educator in Poland and Germany and has co-directed the documentary 'Living in Auschwitz' for Belgian public broadcaster VRT.
Thomas Van De Putte has studied History at the University of Ghent (Belgium) and Nationalism Studies at Central European University (Hungary). He has worked as a journalist for Reuters covering Benelux and French company news, and directed the documentary film project 'Living in Auschwitz' for the Belgian national broadcaster. He is currently co-director of NewLight Productions and is a PhD student at the Center for the Study of Language and Society at the University of Bern, researching group construction in European citizenship policy.
What will happen when those who have experienced the Second World War are no longer among us? How can we continue to pass on the torch of freedom and tell the stories connected to it? This question has occupied the Dutch National Committee of 4 and 5 May (Nationaal Comité 4 en 5 mei) for quite a while. 'Kom vananavond met verhalen' (transl.: Let's tell stories tonight) is the title of the committee's vision for the future. The committee argues that stories are key to prevent forgetfulness, yet at the same time acknowledges that our communal history of war is more than the sum of personal narratives. Hence, the committee embarked on a search for a communal story that can form the foundation of the upcoming policy period for the commemoration and celebration of freedom in the Netherlands. The search for a communal story has continuously grasped our attention ever since the end of the Second World War. Since 1945, there are two types of stories with which we keep the memory of the history of war alive: the so-called master narratives and the counterstories. Whereas master narratives provide us with a collectively supported worldview, counterstories offer a contrast to these ideas, images and cultural practices that have become self-evident. Counterstories bring to light the dimensions of a culture of memory, for which in other stories there is little to no space. Through the counterstory of the German artist Jochen Gerz, Dr. Liesbeth Hoeven illustrates this thesis. In the German city Saarbrücken, Jochen Gerz designed an 'invisible commemoration square' on the very same place where the headquarters of the Gestapo used to be. Currently, it houses the regional parliament. On the bottom of the cobblestones of the square, Gerz engraved the names of the Jewish cemeteries in Germany that were destroyed during the war. Wherever stories and visible signs are missing, our imagination cultivates remembrance. We ourselves, as public authors or co-authors of the historical narrative, become a beacon of remembrance.
Dr. Liesbeth Hoeven (1982) works as a postdoc-researcher and research-coordinator at the Tilburg Cobbenhagen Center (Tilburg University). This research center relates to issues surrounding identity that concern society at large and seeks to create a new impulse in the debate on values in scientific research. Recently, Liesbeth Hoeven finalized her PhD research on the future of the culture of memory, as it has developed after the Second World War. The commercial version of her dissertation was published in the beginning of 2015 by the Publisher Verloren ('Een boek om in te wonen. De verhaalcultuur na Auschwitz', (www.verloren.nl). Liesbeth Hoeven publishes and gives lectures on topics of narrativity, remembrance and imagination. Furthermore, she also develops and manages educational projects in the field of culture and historical heritage.
Invaded in 1914 despite its neutrality, Belgium has been hit severely by the First World War. It has not only been confronted with "German atrocities" during its invasion, but also with four years of battles and trench warfare and with an equally long period of German occupation in the rest of the country. It is no wonder then, that still today many monuments, street names, and plaques in the cityscapes of Belgium commemorate the Great War. Material memory traces have, over the last two decades, been the subject of a 'memory boom'. Most scholars, however, have only paid attention to the war monuments that appeared after the Armistice was signed. I propose to examine those material memory traces that appeared in Brussels, Antwerp and Liège during and right after the First World War, from August 1914 until December 1918. War remembrance and the construction of war narratives did in fact not start after the war, but already in 1914, during the invasion of Belgium. During the occupation, both the occupiers and the occupied periodically commemorated the invasion, the commitment of their Nation in the war and their fallen men. In the weeks immediately following the signing of the Armistice, the formerly occupied had to decide how to deal with the material memory traces left behind by the enemy. Furthermore, I will study how this struggle over war narratives and memory in the public space resumed during the Second World War, when Brussels, Antwerp and Liège were yet again occupied. The material memory traces of 14-18 were often used, as well by the occupier as the occupied, to reinforce patriotic and nationalistic narratives. Their deliberate destruction, however, was sometimes used by the occupier to rewrite existing war narratives of the occupied.
Karla Vanraepenbusch is currently preparing a PhD thesis at the Centre for Historical Research and Documentation on War and Contemporary Society (Cegesoma, Brussels - Belgium) and at the Université catholique de Louvain. Her research concerns the material memory traces of the First World War in Antwerp and Liège. For more information: https://cegesoma.academia.edu/KarlaVanraepenbusch.
"And here I still am, trying to get out from under that monstrous legacy, trying to get free" (Lessing viii). With Alfred and Emily, Doris Lessing wrote a hybrid novel of fiction, facts, photos, and autobiographical memories about the First World War. The first part presents a counterfactual history in which Lessing imagines her parents' lives if the War had not taken place. The second part narrates her own childhood memories after the War; hence, the Great War itself is not described. Instead, the novel portrays the First World War from a postmemory perspective, which, according to Marianne Hirsch, is "a structure of inter- and trans-generational transmission of traumatic knowledge and experience" (Hirsch 2008, 106). Through Lessing's perspective of the second generation, Alfred & Emily shows how the legacy of WWI influences multiple generations after 1918. Alfred & Emily touches upon various important themes related to the commemoration of the First World War. The novel can be seen as an example of the postmemory of the Great War as it meditates on the transmission and ongoing presence of this traumatic event long after the survivors and witnesses have passed away. Besides, the novel also touches upon intermediality and the construction of the narrative of memory due to the hybrid 'text' in which fiction, history, and memory are all part of the same story. Finally, Alfred & Emily makes us think again about the construction of the past and the meaning of the past for the present.
Annika Werkman studied History and English Language and Culture at Utrecht University and is currently completing the Research Master Comparative Literary Studies. In her research she specializes in cultural memory and the relations between history and literature. She is especially interested in how literature presents histories to a present day readership, how literature can nuance, broaden, or even transform people's perspectives on the past, and how the changing meaning given to the past influences the present. In the spring of 2016, she will be doing an internship at Nationaal Comité 4 & 5 mei.
The very title of this novel, Grey Souls, indicates that it is not a traditional war narrative: no clear distinction between the good and the bad guys, no closure, no triumph or redemption. The novel tells the story of a policeman investigating a murder on a young girl in a small town in Northern France in 1917. It is in the dead of the winter and the war is still being fought in the trenches, within sight and sound of the town. I think this novel is an interesting case for several reasons. First, Claudel is writing a war narrative in which the Germans are absent, the confrontation between the French soldiers and French civilians being one of the main subjects. Claudel's narrator underlines the tensions between civilians and soldiers within the French Republic and breaks with the myth of the French war hero. By evoking the physical mutilation and often tragic death of many French soldiers, Claudel wants to translate what the French call a "devoir de mémoire", a duty to remember those who died during the Great War. Furthermore, the main characters being public servants, a policeman, a judge and a prosecutor, this novel reflects also on the functioning of the legal system during the First World War: as the title Grey Souls suggests in the eyes of the narrator it was not easy to discriminate between good and evil. As this relativistic approach already shows, Claudel's novel is also interesting because it offers a postmodern, or perhaps better late postmodern war narrative. On the one hand it illustrates well a certain return of the narrative (detailed descriptions of the setting, flat style, identifiable characters) but on the other hand it shows also that postmodern principles still determine contemporary prose writing: relativism, no chronological narrative, ontological doubt (the end of grand narratives) and thus no closure on the past: no univocal moral and the case of the assassinated girl will never be solved.
Dr Sabine van Wesemael (assistant professor) teaches French and European literature at the University of Amsterdam. Her main fields of interest are French modernism (Proust) and the contemporary novel. She organized several conferences on the contemporary novel which have resulted in key publications on the subject such as: Michel Houellebecq, Rodopi, Amsterdam, 2004, Michel Houellebecq, le plaisir du texte, L'Harmattan, Paris, 2005, Michel Houellebecq sous la loupe, Rodopi, Amsterdam, 2007, Le roman transgressif contemporain, de Bret Easton Ellis à Michel Houellebecq, L'Harmattan, Paris, 2010, L'Unité de l'œuvre de Michel Houellebecq, (eds with Bruno Viard) Classiques Garnier, Paris, 2013 and The Return of the Narrative: le retour à la narration, (eds with Suze van der Pol) Peter Lang Academic Research, Frankfurt am Main, 2015.
The Battle of Tannenberg (August 1914) was a turning point in the early stages of the First World War. Against all odds, Paul von Hindenburg and Erich Ludendorff managed to stop the advance of Russian troops in East Prussia, inflicting 50,000 casualties and capturing 90,000 soldiers. Often confused with the Hindenburg cult, the Tannenberg myth has not been studied in detail before. Interestingly, despite its symbolic significance (presented as a revenge for the devastating defeat of the Teutonic Knights by a Polish-Lithuanian army in July 1410), it did not gain the same popularity and status in German collective memory as the 'heroic' but futile assault of inexperienced war volunteers near Langemarck (1914) or the drawn-out, merciless Battle of Verdun (1916). Tannenberg conveyed a conventional, antiquated image of the war: it symbolised German resilience and ingenious military leadership, signifying a victory that had little in common with the experience of a majority of German soldiers, with gruelling artillery bombardments and infantry attacks against fortified lines. Even though various writers tried to 'modernise' the narrative by focusing more on the role of ordinary soldiers and the Volk in Waffen, Tannenberg remained associated with Prussian-conservative circles. Langemarck and Verdun, in contrast, revolved around a different generation and set of protagonists, and also related to different notions of heroism and sacrifice: while Langemarck stood for the patriotism of the German youth and its willingness to make sacrifices, Verdun epitomised a more silent, robust kind of valour and devotion. These heroic narratives allowed the (male) reader to identify with the central characters, which was difficult in the case of the more complex Tannenberg myth with its references to the medieval past and the world-historical struggle between Germandom and Slavdom, its focus on civilian victims (sacrifice), and the glorification of the military-strategic acumen of a retired Prusso-German aristocrat (hero).
Jan Vermeiren is Lecturer in Modern German History at the University of East Anglia. He is the author of The First World War and German National Identity: The Dual Alliance at War (forthcoming with Cambridge University Press, spring 2016) and is now working on a comparative study of battle myths of the First World War.
Panel description: WWII has a prominent presence in today's popular culture in the western world. This presence in various media combines elements of leisure and alienation with aspects of serious remembrance, and attempts to present and appropriate historical information. The increased emphasis on victimhood, especially on the Holocaust, is reflected in popular culture, but is only one of the ingredients that constitute 'the' narrative of this war - if such a monolithic narrative exists. By focusing on a different element in the WWII narrative, the perpetrators/the enemy, story lines about triumph or loss may turn out to be much less influential. In this session we therefore analyze the role of 'the bad guys' in three contemporary presentations, involving their audiences in different ways, and reflect on their wider influence on the storyline(s) of WWII.
Though grand narratives may have lost their appeal in recent decades, this hardly seems to have influenced the importance attributed to WWII in Europe and North America. The social need for stories of dramatic episodes in recent history is still met by the supply of information and representations in movies, novels, commemorations and websites. In this context, Wikipedia has become an important digital supplier of information about the past. But to what extent does an online encyclopedia, divided in entries of different sizes and structures and various language editions, contribute to a cohesive narrative of one or more overarching war themes? An analysis of the supply and demand of Wikipedia information about perpetrators will inspire questions about possible fragmentation of the dominant western WWII narrative.
Kees Ribbens (1967) is senior researcher at NIOD and endowed professor of Popular historical culture and War at Erasmus University Rotterdam. Ribbens studied Modern History at the University of Nijmegen. He obtained his PhD at Utrecht University in 2001 after defending his dissertation on popular historical consciousness in the Netherlands, 1945-2000. He worked as a researcher and lecturer at Utrecht University, Radboud University Nijmegen and Erasmus University Rotterdam. He was also managing editor of the journal Tijdschrift voor Geschiedenis. Since 2006 he has been at NIOD, where he is in charge of Public History, and he was appointed as professor at the Centre for Historical Culture in Rotterdam in 2013. Kees' main research interests include popular historical culture, public history, the history of World War II and representations of war and mass violence in the 20th and 21st century. He also has a special interest in museums, comics and new media.
Soldier of Orange (2010) is the most popular Dutch musical ever. This musical, partially centred on the theme of 'making choices', portrays the WWII resistance acts of Erik Hazelhoff Roelfzema (1917- 2007), who escapes to England as ´Engelandvaarder´. However, different narratives are shown in the musical as well, including that of collaborators, which is still a sensitive issue in the Netherlands. In this paper, I will analyse how the collaborator perspective is represented in the musical by deconstructing the narratives of the collaborating characters. Furthermore, based on interviews with individual visitors, I will study if and how these 'wrong' narratives are received by the audience and to what extent the focus of the reception remains on the 'good' narrative of Soldier of Orange.
Laurie Slegtenhorst (1987) is a PhD candidate at the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (ESHCC). Since September 1, 2013, she works on a research project about popular culture and the Second World War in the Netherlands in international perspective. This research project (2013-2018) is a cooperation between the Center for Historical Culture at Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication, and the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies (KNAW). Her main research interests include popular culture, historical culture, the Second World War, the Holocaust, memory culture, media history and remediation.
Digital games about WWII are considered to offer a one-sided take on historical narrative. Games like Wolfenstein and Call of Duty are military-themed and portray the war from an Allied perspective, thus vilifying German and Japanese soldiers. However, one can ask if a distinction in terms of narrative complexity and perspective can be made. In addition, through their interactivity, games in general offer numerous ways for players to construct diverging narratives. Therefore, I will analyse four recent WWII-games considering (1) the perspective from which their narratives are told, and (2) the ways players appropriate these narratives.
Pieter Van den Heede (1990) is a PhD candidate at Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (ESHCC). He holds a Master's degree in History (2012) from Ghent University, Belgium. For his MA thesis he conducted research on the representation of World War II in popular shooter games such as Medal of Honor and Call of Duty, leading to a publication in the Dutch Tijdschrift voor Geschiedenis. He obtained a teaching certificate in 2013 and worked as a history and geography teacher in Ghent. His PhD research is part of the Research Excellence Initiative (REI) Project 'War! Popular Culture and European Heritage of Major Armed Conflicts', and focuses on the representation and simulation of history in digital games set in war-devastated European (urban) landscapes. His promoter is Prof. Kees Ribbens and his supervisor is Prof. Jeroen Jansz. Pieter's main research interests include historical gaming, history didactics, public history and historical culture.
Philippe Lejeune suggests that diaries are "non-narrative." They are not complete stories, not written with knowledge of the outcome. Yet a collective voice emerges from the texts, a priori personal and private, of Lucie Aubrac, Marguerite Duras, and Jacqueline Mesnil-Amar, whose husbands were arrested for acts of resistance in German Occupied France. Although these women express extreme solitude, their texts represent an experience common to most women during WWII, and since the beginning of time: the battle "without weapons, without blood, without glory," the battle of waiting. The authors obsess about the wait, their identity reduced to a negative: the lack and hopeful return. A large portion of Aubrac's text concentrates on the escape plan she organizes for her husband, the title of Duras's La douleur refers to the wait, and Mesnil-Amar's diary was written exclusively during her husband's absence, as if it were born out of the painstaking waiting period. Seemingly a passive activity, the wait violently and persistently rules the bodies and the minds of the authors. The analysis of the three texts (of which Mensil-Amar's is the only that can be considered a "true" diary) raises the question of how the wait manifests itself in content and style, and even through the diary genre. Diarists return to the same topics and tend toward incoherence. They are "repetitive" and "obsessive." The diary format, then, seems to match incredibly well the obsessive nature of waiting. This paper also seeks to shed light on possible links between the choice of genre and écriture féminine. Are all three texts "non-narrative," and how do their styles reflect the primarily feminine battle? How does a genre meant to be personal speak to collective identity of women, particularly in WWII France?
Born in the Hoosier state, I completed my
masters at Middlebury College in Vermont and in Paris, and I
am now a PhD candidate in French literature at Purdue
University. Thanks to the Purdue Research Foundation, I am
currently completing research for my dissertation in Paris at
the Centre de documentation juive contemporaine, at the
Archives nationales, and I will soon visit the Association
pour l'autobiographie. Through this archival research, I am
able to include sources never studied, including diaries
recently donated. My dissertation explores the expressions of
French identities and the roles of individual and collective
memory through a reading of these diaries. I have previously
presented papers on the image of revolutionary Paris in 1944,
and understanding occupier-occupied relations through a study
of kinesic narration. I am also interested in Québécois
autofiction and cognitive approaches to literature.
This paper will discuss the way in which Early Modern Dutch history has been narrated in an explaining or rather causal way, in a transitional period between medieval and modern times. The Dutch History (1642) by Pieter Hooft is the central focus. It will be discussed how causal patterns illustrate different types of reading, explaining, evaluation and interpretation of past events from the Eighty Years' War (1568-1648) between the Netherlands and Spain. Causal relationships, as well as the organization of causes, are essential to establishing historical explanation. How has Hooft used explanation and causation in their interrelation? Causal patterns can unveil bias, prejudice and strategic aims, as well explain why a text may be (or has been) interpreted in a specific way, or how it may have functioned as explanatory or argumentative discourse. The analysis concerns how and to what extent Hooft has employed historical narrative by way of causal links in order to record and explain events, how these narratives offer arguments and explanations, how they indicate consequences and effect, and how they provide and integrate general background information into causation. It will be illustrated to what extent the discourse of this historiography conveys the impression that reasoning dominates while at the same time reasoning is covered in narrative discourse.
Jeroen Jansen is lecturer in the Department of
Dutch Language and Literature at the University of Amsterdam.
From 1987 he was a research fellow and university teacher
working at the Universiteit van Amsterdam. His
specializations include the impact of humanism and the
revival of learning in Renaissance Netherlands, rhetoric,
textual and literary criticism, argumentation and style. His
major publications include Brevitas (1995), Decorum (2001)
and Imitatio (2008). His current research interests seek all
kinds of strategies, as seen from historical pragmatics,
speech act theory, rhetoric and framing theory. Jansen is
currently coordinating the research projects
Strategies. The Rhetoric of Ethos, Literary Authority and
(Con)Textual Identity in Renaissance Preliminary Texts'
andCultural Memory, Rhetoric, and Literary
War as a (good) story. Classic war literature often includes elements of humour; from the wry observations on a soldier's life in Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front, to the more frenzied comedy of Heller's Catch-22. Such laughter is often referred to as gallows humour, a compensatory moment of relief from the horrors on the battlefield, or as a contribution to the cathartic effect of transforming real conflict into its fictional counterpart. It is, therefore, a part of the necessary fictionalisation of war which preserves a record and builds a memory of the conflict for those who were there and for subsequent generations. Building on my recent research on the language of war in modern Serbian literature, I intend to expand on the categories of humour in war literature by examining the semantic function of laughter articulated in Serbian war literature about NATO's bombing campaign of 1999. Authors have exploited different narrative strategies to produce comic effects, such as: a talking dog in receipt of a visa to travel from Serbia to the USA (Prodanovic, This Could be Your Lucky Day); ghostly narrators and their intertextual references to war literature (Pisarev, Under the Shadow of a Kite); parodies of the picaresque and other literary genres (Ilic, The Road to Byzantium). These works, like many examples of war literature, speak about the general experience of war and the structure of feeling associated with a particular conflict. In fictional literature about NATO's 1999 campaign, humour is positioned between a carnivalesque approach to portraying the conflict and demonic laughter at its catastrophic power in order to capture both the absurdity of events and their apocalyptic consequences.
Dr David A. Norris is Head of Department of Russian and Slavonic Studies, and Associate Professor of Serbian and Croatian Studies at the University of Nottingham, UK. He teaches the language(s) of the region, their literatures, cultural studies and history. He has published the following books: Miloš Crnjanski and Modern Serbian Literature (1988), The Novels of Miloš Crnjanski: An Approach through Time (1990), Teach Yourself Serbo-Croat (1993), In the Wake of the Balkan Myth: Questions of Identity and Modernity (1999), Teach Yourself Croatian (2003), Belgrade: A Literary and Cultural History (2008), and over 40 articles and chapter in books. He is co-author with Dr Vladislava Ribnikar of Teach Yourself Serbian (2003). His next book Haunted Serbia: Representations of History and War in the Literary Imagination is to be published in February 2016.
During World War II radio was introduced as a new "weapon" into the so-called "fourth front", as propaganda has been called by several historians (Cruickshank 1977; Mercuri 1998; Lanotte 2013). While radio had been used before the Thirties for military purposes, the innovation of World War II was its employment as a medium to address civilians of adversary countries. Radio broadcasts crossed territorial borders and reached ordinary people, provided the opportunity of listening to the voice of the enemy and accessing international sources of information. Airwaves allowed governments involved in the conflict, not only to support with talks the military operations fought in the traditional fronts, but also to contribute to shaping histories and memories of the conflict in foreign nations. This is the case of Radio London's broadcasts in Italy, whose memories are now part of the Italian cultural heritage of World War II. The BBC played a crucial role in raising the morale of the Italian civilians living under the Fascist regime. However, the Italian Service was concurrently the instrument used by the British Foreign Office to address a country subjected to an Anglo-American occupation. Despite this controversial role, a positive portrait of Radio London has prevailed in the Italian cultural heritage of World War II over the last decades. This paper aims on the one hand, at investigating the narrative strategies used by the BBC to gain popularity among different Italians, while on the other focuses on the reactions of the Italian audience to the programmes.
Ester Lo Biundo is an AHRC funded PhD candidate in History and a sessional lecturer at the University of Reading. She is researching the BBC's radio propaganda in Italy during Anglo-American occupation of Italy (1943-45). Part of this project has been carried out at the Kluge Center of the Library of Congress (AHRC International Placement Scheme). Her publications include London Calling Italy. La propaganda di Radio Londra nel 1943 (Edizioni Unicopli, 2014); The War of Nerves. Le Trasmissioni di Radio Londra da El Alamein all'Operazione Husky. Meridiana. Rivista di Storia e Scienze Sociali, n. 82, 2015; Voices of Occupiers/Liberators. The BBC's Radio Propaganda in Italy between 1942 and 1945. Journal of War and Cultures Studies (forthcoming).Outside of university, Ester was awarded an archivist diploma and collaborated as volunteer and intern with several cultural institutions and museums.
The proliferation of war novels which marked the end of 1920s and the beginning of the 1930s across European literature, contributing to the phenomenon often referred to as the 'war boom', divided the readership and caused significant controversies. Motivated by the desire to determine the 'proper' way of writing the First World War, these debates revealed the existence of a deeper crisis of memory which culminated around the first ten-year anniversary of the Armistice. Despite the fact that the belligerent nations had radically different perceptions and memories of the war, the parties involved in these debates display remarquable similarities when it comes to three key points - the issue of witnessing (i.e. determining the qualities of a reliable witness), representing (i.e. determining the ethical limits of representation), and writing (i.e. determining the qualities of 'good' war writing) the war. In order to demonstrate this, we will give a comparative outline of the arguments raised in the debates which followed the publication of Remarque's Im Westen nichts Neues in Germany and the appearance of Jean Norton Cru's Témoins in France, as well as Cru's own arguments against the mainstream of war literature. As further illustrations we will mention two other examples: the so-called 'War Books Controversy' in Britain at the begining of the 1930s and a much later debate, stirred by veterans' testimonies on the subject of a novel written by a Serbian author from the 1930s, Stevan Jakovljevic's Serbian Trilogy. The subsequent analysis will explore the tension existing between individual and group (in this case, war veterans') memories of the First World War, as well as the audience's ambivalence towards the fictionality of the novels which prompted these debates.
Dunja Dušanic is a research and teaching assistant at the Department of Comparative Literature and Literary Theory at the University of Belgrade. Her research focuses on the relationship between fictional and nonfictional genres, with an emphasis on first-person narratives (diaries, memoirs, testimonies, autobiographies and autofictions). As a member of the research project Knjiženstvo: Theory and History of Women's Writing in Serbian until 1915, a subgroup of the international project Women Writers In History: Toward a New Understanding of European Literary Culture, she has been studying the representations of World War I in Serbian women's writing. She has recently completed a PhD thesis on the literary representation of World War I as a personal experience in modernist fiction - Fiction as Testimony: The First World War in Serbian Modernist Fiction.
In my paper, I focus on the image of the enemy in the canonical works by Henri Barbusse (Le feu, 1916) and by Erich Maria Remarque (Im Westen nichts neues, 1929). Many WWI-veterans have published autobiographically inspired novels. Instead of studying the truthfulness of their accounts - which has been done many times before - I'll use a comparative approach. I concentrate on the image of the enemy in the writings of Barbusse and Remarque, two veterans fighting on opposite sides of the front. I will show that in their writings, the enemy sometimes feels closer than friends and family outside the tranches. Both authors restrain from using the heroic narrative of war that is common until WWI. The main characters also reflect upon their enemies, instead of simply fighting them. In both novels, the strict line between friend and enemy is thus problematized and especially the ends of both novels fit well in a pacifist discourse. My research question is, first of all, how this refining of the image of the enemy is executed within the novels. Secondly, why did the authors choose to do so? And, thirdly, what has been the effect of these novels on the readers? How do Barbusse and Remarque's individual stories relate to the collective story? By studying these novels, I hope not only to contribute to an interesting conference, but also to a better understanding of the pacifist movement and the attempts of reconciliation in the Interwar period.
Rebecca van Raamsdonk (1990) is currently finishing a Research Master in History and a Master in French Literature at the University of Amsterdam. She holds a Bachelor in both European Studies and French (UvA). Her main research interests are identity formation in 20th-century Europe and European integration from a cultural perspective. She currently writes her RMa-thesis on national and European identity in Portugal, before and after the Carnation Revolution of 1974.
In the early nineteenth century, as the Napoleonic Wars came to an end, and Europe emerged from two decades of near-constant conflict, hundreds of thousands of soldiers were faced with the prospect of readjusting to peace, reintegrating into civilian life, and processing the memories of their vivid wartime experiences. As official narratives of the war were constructed by governments and academic historians, and Romantic novels shaped the image left in cultural memory, a small number of these veterans interjected by writing and publishing their own memoirs. These books, projecting the voices of a very varied group of survivors into the international publishing market, helped to shape the discourse of war throughout the nineteenth century and beyond - many of the most popular works are still in print today. This paper will examine the substantial cultural and political impact of the memoirs published during the nineteenth century by French, British and Spanish veterans of the Peninsular War, one of the most colourful, chaotic and brutal arenas of the Napoleonic period. I will explore how individual memoirs engaged with the national narrative of war at both a high academic and a popular level, considering cost, format and commercial success as much as content. I will then argue that later editors, translators and policymakers all over Europe capitalised upon these veterans' narratives for their own (often very different) motives, changing the meaning of the original narrative over both geographical space and time. An exclusively British memoir was used to demonstrate Portuguese brilliance, an exiled general's English autobiography was used to rally militia in civil war-torn Spain, and the musings of proudly French generals were manipulated to teach British schoolchildren a deeply British view of history. The veteran's memoir, no longer just a record of past wars, became a weapon of future ones.
Matilda Greig is a PhD candidate at the European University Institute in Florence, where she is completing research on veterans' war memoirs during the long nineteenth century under the supervision of Professor Lucy Riall. She holds a Bachelor's degree in History from King's College Cambridge, and a Master's with Honours in History from Leiden University. While at Leiden she was also awarded the Institute of History's Fruijnprijs for the best Master's dissertation of the year. Her research interests include book history, the social history of veterans, and the political and cultural discourse of war experience.
According to the Italian Chief of Staff Luigi Cadorna, Italy needed a war to 'cement its unity', and little did it matter on which side it fought. It was a view shared by several young and well-known intellectuals, like Marinetti, D'Annunizo, Soffici and Gadda. As Roland Stromberg has shown in his by now classic Redemption by War (1981), that the moral, cultural and political regeneration could only be met by a catharsis stemming from the sacrifices demanded by war was shared by several intellectuals throughout Europe. But the case of Italy is particularly interesting. In spite of the Risorgimento rhetoric, unification had not been achieved by the heroic deeds of the Italian people, but, rather, by shrewd diplomatic action. In a nation so deeply divided and with few past military achievements through which the national community could be viewed as a sacred unity, even more than in other countries the need to join the war regardless of the cost was campaigned for by intellectuals. That the Risorgimento was 'incomplete' was not only a matter of annexing the 'unredeemed lands', but, rather of creating a glorious - and bloody - national past that could recall the myths of ancient Rome. War was a means of reconnecting the Italian people to a great past, cementing a sacred national narrative. Considering the debates in the months between the Sarajevo murder and the 1915 'Maggio radioso', this paper will consider the views of intellectuals on the relationship between war violence, sacrifice and the shaping of national narratives, focusing, in particular, on the belief underlying their views that Italy had to be built on the social capital generated by the collective sacrifice made in its name.
Matthew D'Auria is Lecturer of Modern European History at the University of East Anglia. He studied History and Politics at the Universities of Naples l'Orientale and at University College London, where he also gained his PhD. He has taught and conducted research at UCL, Sciences-Po Paris, and at the University of Salerno. His main research interest is the relationship between images of the nation and discourses about Europe. He has coedited, with Mark Hewitson, Europe in Crisis: Intellectuals and the European Idea, 1917-1957, Berghahn Books, 2012 and, with Vittorio Dini, The Space of Crisis: Images and Ideas of Europe in the Age of Crisis, 1914-1945, Peter Lang, 2013. His book The Shaping of French National Identity: Narrating the Nation's Past, 1715-1830, is forthcoming with Cambridge University Press.
According to Walter Benjamin's famous epitaph: 'There is no document of culture which is not at the same time a document of barbarism'. In his opinion, any civilization is a dominant civilization, and its culture is the dominant culture. Europe makes no exception. It is from a very similar standpoint that Simone Weil goes through European history in order to read it from a new perspective, as the history written by the winners. In Weil, constituent narratives are interpreted as ideological constructions, the main aim of which is, on the one hand, to remove the founding violence a civilization was born from, and, on the other, to increase the prestige of the dominants. We may find the first hints of this interpretive approach in her 1937 writing The Power of Words, where all Western myths constitute the founding illusion on which power is built. The first European constituent narrative Weil confronts herself with is quite naturally the myth of Rome as the Empire of civilization. Already in Cold War Policy in 1939 she assumes the destruction of Carthage as the original cause of the European tragedy, and compares the Roman Empire with the ongoing totalitarian regimes. These conceptual issues are systematized in another essay Weil wrote in 1939: Some reflections on the Origins of Hitlerism, where she states the Western tendency to constitute universal empires and perceives an absolute continuity between the Roman Empire and Hitler's Germany. Her main aim seems here to be the deconstruction of the most awe-inspiring and undisputed European constituent myth - Rome - by connecting it to the most awe-inspiring and controversial European nation - Hitler's Germany. This is what I suggest calling a destituent narrative of Europe.
I am associate professor of History of Political Doctrines at the University of Salerno. I am currently working on an historical reconstruction of the Western concept of violence. The main aim of this research is to find and interpret the principal emergences and removals of the concept in the evolution of European political dictionary. The existing research is the natural continuation of a long-time interest in the construction of democratic discourse, on which I have published one monograph in Italian (Pragmatismo americano. Razza e democrazia) and several articles. My philosophical background has always determined my researches, initially focused on political theology, on which I have published one monograph in Italian (Oracolo e profezia. Parola della legge e sentimento di giustizia) and several articles. My interests as PhD student were on political modernity and on biopolitics. On these subjects I have written one monograph in Italian (Organismo democratico. Tre saggi spinoziani) and edited a book (Biopolitica e democrazia).
In this paper I will present the perspectives of two women, two intellectuals, who lived through the war at the same time, yet never met: Simone Weil and Marguerite Duras. These women have been witnesses and narrators, with different points of view, to the same event: the Second World War. Simone Weil expresses the contradictions between justified and unjustified violence, between unlimited force and the measure of love, between imaginary and real war. To understand the essence of "force" she turns to the analysis of the 'war of wars', the Trojan War. "Force" has the power to transform men into objects. According to Weil force and power are connected to the unlimited, to the illusion of omnipotence of the "ego" that transforms the other into an object. The unlimited brings men into the field of the imaginary, of the unreal. The force demeans both, those who strike and those who are struck, everything in the world is, in Weil's opinion, exposed to contact with force, excluding love: not natural love but supernatural love. The reflections of Simone Weil on war are based on her research of purity beyond force. In her book 'War' (La Douleur) Marguerite Duras proposes a vision of war and violence that doesn't leave space for any redemption or purification. Pain and violence equate, according also to Weil, victims and executioners, vanquisher and the vanquished; but in Duras's opinion this means that nobody can declare themselves exempt from this violence. Duras represents, like Weil, violence as characterized by de-realization. However, for Duras there is no other reality beyond this unreality. On the contrary, truth and justice are connected with violence, it is exactly the search for truth and justice that drives the torture.
Tristana Dini (PhD) research interests include contemporary political philosophy, feminist theories, biopolitics and classical german philosophy. She studied at Naples, Messina, Berlin, Bochum Universities. She has been researcher on "Biopolitcs and feminist theories" at the Bruno Kessler Foundation in Trento. 2013 she obtained her second PhD in "Political and Theoretical Philosophy" from the Italian Institute of Human Sciences, Naples/Florence, with a Thesis about: Material life. Biopolitics, holy life and sexual difference. 2012-2013 Temporary Research Fellow at University of Salerno, Faculty of Political, social and communication Sciences, with a project about "Women, democracy and the crisis of politics". She is Professor for "Theory and history of public Institutions" at the University of Salerno. She is member of the editorial board of the online journal www.adateoriafemminista.it.
Panel description: What was once called the "American Century" now appears to be the transatlantic century, the Weimar century, the Jewish century, the century of the self, or even the anti-American century. This panel brings together Americanists and Europeanists to reassess the intellectual, literary and cultural history of the midcentury Atlantic world, with reinventions of the "West" as our common theme. It is a good moment to do so, as scholars reassess the "crisis of man," postwar military occupations, wartime collaboration, and liberalism itself. Our goal is, in part, to restore the ideological complexity and cultural sophistication of the postwar moment, against both the monolithic condemnations and simplistic celebrations that usually inform discussions of a Western tradition.
This paper offers a semantic history of "national character." Character was a key ideological instrument of the Second World War, but writing about American character was also an feat of narrative, drawing together history, social psychology, literary criticism and propaganda. Out of this nexus, there emerged a particular narrative of American culture and the West. This narrative challenged earlier accounts of war-especially disillusioned modernist accounts of World War I-and arranged American character according to a typology of immigration (first generation, second generation, third generation). Scientific and para-scientific vocabularies also undergirded paradigmatic studies of the authoritarian personality, UNESCO's Tensions Project, and the postwar reeducations of Germany and Japan. The central figure here is the anthropologist Margaret Mead, who had diagnosed maladies of "Western Civilization" in her ethnographic work, and who wrote the first anthropological study of American character in 1942. Decades later, in a remarkable collaboration with James Baldwin, Mead returned to the problem of collective guilt and the fate of the West. This paper contributes to an ongoing reassessment of midcentury intellectual, literary and cultural history, including new histories of the "crisis of man," of postwar military occupations, and of liberalism itself.
George Blaustein is assistant professor of American Studies at the University of Amsterdam. He is completing a book about American culture and the reconstruction of Europe. He received his doctorate from Harvard's History of American Civilization Program, and his BA from the University of Pennsylvania. In Amsterdam, he teaches "American History, Beginning to End," as well as more specialized seminars on 19th- and 20th-century American cultural history and international perspectives of the United States. His essays and reviews have appeared in Amerikastudien/American Studies, American Quarterly, Vrij Nederland and N+1. He is also the president of the Netherlands American Studies Association (NASA).
After the Second World War, the United States became for the first time part of the transatlantic 'West', which tied the country to Europe both politically and culturally. Central to American intellectuals' debates about western culture was the question what lessons should be drawn from the European struggle with war and ideology. Especially when the Cold War emerged, the demand for a more powerful narrative increased. At the same time, however, American intellectuals' dual European-American perspective evoked parallels between 'European' imperialism and the new American superpower. In this complex reinvention of a transatlantic cultural narrative, based on the experience and lessons of the Second World War, German-American émigré intellectuals played a crucial role. This paper examines the reimagination of western culture in the work on the Enlightenment of the Jewish émigré historian Peter Gay. Navigating between the many postwar tensions between two continents, which were both in a process of reidentification, Gay undertook to search for common ground. His historical work would become essential in the postwar revitalization of the Enlightenment as the founding narrative of western culture.
Employment: - Lecturer at the University of Amsterdam, 2009-present - Ph.D., History at the University of Amsterdam, supervisors prof. F.W. Boterman (UvA) and prof. V.R. Berghahn (Columbia University): "Transatlantic Enlightenment: Peter Gay and the Drama of German History in the United States, 1945-1968", May 2016 (expected) - Co-teaching of a session of the course "The Cold War in Popular Culture" (WRI 169) as part of the Princeton Writing Program with dr. Andrea Scott at Princeton University, March 26, 2010 - Regular contributor to the book section of NRC Handelsblad and De Groene Amsterdammer, 2005-2009
Education: - Doctoraal Comparative Literature at the University of Amsterdam (cum laude), August 2005 - Doctoraal History at the University of Amsterdam (cum laude), August 2005Selected Publications: - "The Transatlantic Reconstruction of "Western" Culture": George Mosse, Peter Gay and the Development of the German Tradition of Geistesgeschichte", in: Jan Logemann & Mary Nolan (Eds.), More Atlantic Crossings? Europe's Role in an Entangled History of the Atlantic World, GHI Bulletin Supplement 10 (Fall 2014). - "Discovering a Lost Intellectuals' Project: George Mosse and Peter Gay on Myth and Mind in History", in: C. Rodriguez-Lopez & J.M. Feraldo (Eds.), Reconsidering a Lost Intellectual Project: Exiles' Reflections on Cultural Differences (Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012) pp. 13-36.
In the aftermath of the Liberation, collaborationist French intellectuals struggled with their past engagements and how to relate them to a post-war order in which they faced ostracism and persecution. For them, dissenting war narratives provided a strategy to challenge both the system of transitional justice and the legitimacy of the post-war authorities. This led them to advocate a view of the 'Occident' that was based on a specific narrative of the Second World War, in which the confrontation between 'the West' and 'Asian barbarity' played a key role. Within this perspective, Germany had an ambiguous position, alternating between the role of protector of Western civilization, and - if contaminated via the clash with bolshevism - as its gravedigger. Germany's pivotal role illustrated the need for reconciliation and Western-European or Transatlantic collaboration. There is a striking similarity in the importance of this 'Occident' concept for intellectuals who continued to affiliate with the extreme right, and for those who became supporters of the early neoliberal movement.
Daniel Knegt (Amsterdam, 1984) is a history lecturer at the University of Amsterdam. In November 2015, he received his PhD at the European University Institute in Florence (Italy), with a dissertation titled "A New Order for France and Europe: Bertrand de Jouvenel and Alfred Fabre-Luce between Liberalism, Fascism and Europeanism". His principle research interests include fascism in a transnational context, alternative currents in Europeanist thought, the intellectual history of mid-twentieth-century France and the early neoliberal movement.
Panel description: Perpetrators of mass atrocities against civilians, for example during civil wars or genocides, generally produce changing narratives about the violence they commit. The individuals who become involved in the actual killing are the men we generally call 'perpetrators', those at the very bottom of the pyramid and chain of command of perpetration. This panel approaches their narratives from the perspective of the narratives they produce during and after the perpetration. The panel will take as point of departure the notion that the perpetrators' production of narratives is part and parcel of the commission of mass violence against civilians. The advantage of taking a processual view is that it enables us to cater for the complexity of the process of perpetration: different layers of authority, different motives of involvement, different rules of engagement, and most importantly: the inescapable changes in their narratives over time.
Twenty-two years after its establishment, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague is finalizing its proceedings. Among them are those against Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, the leaders of the Bosnian Serbs. In previous trials, the ICTY convicted individuals for genocide in Srebrenica, after hearing testimony and examining evidence presented in the courtroom. This contribution aims at discussing some of the key evidence and analyzing how the trials were followed and perceived in the former Yugoslavia, primarily Serbia and Republika Srpska (one of two post-Dayton entities in Bosnia and Herzegovina). Among key evidence is the 'Scorpions video' showing the execution of Bosniak men captured after the fall of the enclave. How did the video impact public discussions in Serbia? The contribution will furthermore present the different ways in which the events around Srebrenica are understood and described by the prosecution and by the defense. Mass graves provide an example: for the prosecutors these are victims that were shot in mass executions; for the defense counsel, they are men who died in battle. How do trials impact narratives about contested events and how does evidence 'trickle down', mainly through the media, to the societies they aim to address? This contribution will argue that trials have, as imperfect as they have been, an important role in discussing violence after the fall of Srebrenica and that the ICTY had, if nothing else, accomplished a narrowing of the space of denial.
Iva Vukušic, M.A, is conducting PhD research on paramilitaries, organized crime and the state in 1990s Yugoslavia at the History Department of Utrecht University. From 2009, Iva covered trials at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, working for Sense News. From 2007-2009, she was an analyst at the Special War Crimes Department of the State Prosecutor's office in Sarajevo. Iva worked on a project focusing on visual material in war crimes trials at the Department of War Studies, King's College London, as well as with others researching judicial responses to mass violence and their impact on post-conflict societies and more broadly, questions from the field of transitional justice.
In the aftermath of mass violence memory is often contested. In any process of collective memory-making there are elements which are emphasized and elements which are forgotten. This is true on both the individual level, in terms of perpetrator memories of their crimes, and on the level of collective narratives. In many cases individual and group positionality during the violence (i.e. perpetrator or victim status) becomes a vector for political legitimacy and power. Acts of memory-making in the aftermath of collective crimes (genocide and crimes against humanity) have a moral dimension - they seek to condemn, sanctify, or forget harm done by and to collectivities (and by extension individuals). Memory produces morality in the sense that it contextualizes and neutralizes individual acts of violence. It is my hypothesis that collective crimes engender collective memory and that memory itself constitutes a moral framework. Thus, where memory narratives are contested morality is also contested - the existence of multiple contested memories means that moral frameworks (in the sense of how past wrongs are viewed) are also multiple and contested. The memory of the Bangladesh 'Liberation War' (1971) is one such case. In this paper I will discuss collective memories of collective crimes with a focus on Bangladesh. I will also consider the role of transitional justice institutions, such as the International Crimes Tribunal of Bangladesh, in remaking collective and individual narratives of violence and reconstituting moral fields.
Kjell Anderson is a social scientist and jurist focused on mass atrocities. He holds a doctorate from the National University of Ireland, as well as an LLM from Utrecht University, and MA and BA degrees from Carleton University and the University of Saskatchewan, respectively. His work experience includes the National University of Ireland, National University of Rwanda, The Hague Institute for Global Justice, Forum des Activistes Contre la Torture (FACT-Rwanda), the Organization of American States, and West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences. He is currently a researcher/lecturer at the Netherlands Institute for War, Holocaust, and Genocide Studies, as well as a Vice-President of the International Association of Genocide Scholars. He is the author of the forthcoming The Dehumanization Dynamic: A Criminology of Genocide (Routledge, 2016).
Paramilitarism refers to clandestine, irregular armed organizations that carry out acts of violence against clearly defined civilian individuals or groups. It has immense importance for understanding the processes of violence that are played out during ethnic conflicts, which often see the formation of paramilitary units that conduct counter-insurgency operations and commit violence against civilians including massacres. From the outbreak of the uprising in March 2011, the Syrian government's violent response to the mass protests became more extensive and intensive. Within four years, a civil war had devastated economic and civic life, killed 250,000 people, reached military and political stalemate, and fragmented Syrian territory. The key aspect of the Assad regime's repression against the population was its use of paramilitary forces, the 'Popular Committees' or so-called Shabbiha, a catch-all category for irregular paramilitaries dressed in civilian gear and linked organically to the regime. From March 2011 on, their acts were well-documented in video clips, leaks, confessions, defections, and victim testimonies. The Shabbiha carried out storming of neighborhoods, dispersion of demonstrations, as well as property crimes, torture, kidnapping, assassination, and massacre. This paper traces the narratives of the Shabbiha through a broad range of materials range including news reports, formal declarations, profiles, descriptions, short memoirs, and photos, to countless video clips. How and why did these men get involved in the repression, and how did they experience the conflict?
Ugur Ümit Üngör (PhD 2009), is Associate Professor of History at Utrecht University and Research Fellow at the Institute for War, Holocaust, and Genocide Studies in Amsterdam. His main area of interest is the historical sociology of mass political violence. His most recent publications include Confiscation and Destruction (Continuum, 2011) and The Making of Modern Turkey (Oxford University Press, 2011). In 2013, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences awarded him the Young Scientist Award for History. He is currently leading an NWO-funded research project on the phenomenon of paramilitarism in modern conflicts.
From 1946 to 1949, the Netherlands fought a bloody decolonisation war with the newly proclaimed Republic of Indonesia. The official narrative of the Dutch government and military was that Dutch troops were restoring order and peace in a colony which the Republic had plunged into chaos and violence. After the conflict, this interpretation remained dominant for the Dutch soldiers, whose service medals were adorned with the 'order and peace' slogan despite the fact the Republic had reached independence. When the soldiers took to writing their memoires and autobiographies as veterans in later years, this was the narrative in which they generally told their story. Historians have used these memoires to study soldiers' experiences and perceptions to gain a better understanding of the conflict, especially the role of what has become known as 'excessive violence'. However, the processes in which the veteran's narrative was formed have not been studied so far while they seem important: a memoires' narrative is only a final product, written with an audience in mind. How did the conceptualisation of the war develop, from the actual conflict to the final narrative? How does a soldier's diary from the conflict compare with a veteran's memoires from the 1990s? The proposed paper will address these and other questions by using a single Dutch battalion as a case study to investigate in detail the building blocks that resulted in a certain narrative: the military's propaganda, soldiers' experiences, the colonial ideology. Comparing a range of sources from and about this unit gives us insight into the mechanisms and changes behind the memoires and their narrative of war as a narrative of restoring peace and order. The central question is how exactly this narrative took shape during the conflict: what did the war look like behind the narrative?
Miel Groten (1992) finished his research master in History at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam last summer, with a thesis about the Dutch army's interpretation of the Indonesian war of independence. He worked as a research assistant on a digital humanities project at the VU's Network Institute and is currently writing a PhD proposal on Dutch colonial history.
Aim of this paper is to describe the role of the disabled ex-servicemen and of their most important association, the Italian National Association of Disabled Ex-servicemen (ANMIG), in the definition of a new memory of the war in Italy. The history of the mutilated and of their association offers a particular point of view on the construction and on the administration of the memory of the war. ANMIG still exists in Italy and continues to have a role in the politics of memory. In the first post-war period, the disabled ex-servicemen in Italy were almost 500.000. In 1917 was established ANMIG, the most important Veterans Association. From its first reunions in Milan, the management group of ANMIG decided to create a new memory of the war, and to give to the disabled ex-servicemen a role in the politics of remembrance, establishing a new hierarchy: the fallen soldiers, the disabled soldiers, the veterans. The disabled ex-servicemen pretended to become the most distinguished witness of the war. Through the Association, the individual histories became a part of a new collective memory, thanks to "Il Bollettino", the journal of ANMIG, all the members could read histories and remember the war. ANMIG continued its activities during fascist period, even if the regime used the memory of the war to legitimate itself and overlapped itself to the other memories. After the end of World War II, ANMIG returned to its role, but with a new perspective. The memory of World War I became a part of a greater memory. Starting from World War I the memory arrived to the idea of freedom of the Italian Resistance.
Ugo Pavan Dalla Torre (1981) is an independent researcher. He has a PhD in Modern History, University of Turin (Italy). His thesis title was "The Origins of the Italian National Association between Disabled Ex-Servicemen (ANMIG) 1917-1923", and it was written under supervision of Fabio Levi and Giorgio Rochat. Furthermore, he is a teacher in the High School, and works as a collaborator for the Central Committee of the Italian National Association between Disabled Ex-Servicemen (Rome). His research interests are focused on the history of World War I, on the medicine of the XXth Century, in particular on the history of the orthopedics and of prosthesis; on the history of Association between disabled people and on the history of the historiography.
During the Second World War ca. 500 thousand men who until 1939 were Polish citizens, became conscripted into the German army, regardless of their actual national identification. Those of them who survived the war and came back to their homelands (i.e. borderlands regions of Upper Silesia, Eastern Prussia and Pomerania/Western Prussia) had to hide the war section of own biographies in the communist Poland. Also after 1989 public discourse about the WWII, although changed, almost did not include the narratives of 'Poles in Wehrmacht'. Only after revealing in 2005 the information that Donald Tusk (at that time a presidential candidate) had a 'grandfather in the Wehrmacht', historical research on that topic and a search for a public language for the war memories of former Wehrmacht veterans in Poland commenced on a larger scale. The paper, based on 48 biographical oral history interviews done in 2012 and 2013 with former German soldiers living those days in Poland (within a project "Grandfather in the Wehrmacht"), emphasize and explain the specificity of those narratives (in comparison to other veterans stories re-told and publicly present). Instead of 'big history' and politics, they often refer to the topos (commonplace) of 'an ordinary soldier' and tell their 'small stories' instead. Therefore I argue that it can serve as a valuable case study of a development of individual memory with a little reference to social memory framework: a biographical experience of a piece of German history was not able to easily find its place in Polish national perspective on the Second World War. By analyzing some of the narrating tactics of the interviewees and juxtaposing them to the context of a public debate on WWII, I propose a perspective on research the complex interplay between 'big' (official, public, political) and 'small' (unofficial, private, individual) narratives.
Marcin Jarzabek (1984) - since 2011 I am assistant professor (asystent) in the Department of Historical Anthropology, Institute of History, Jagiellonian University in Krakow (Poland). I studied history and sociology and received PhD degree in history (2014) at JU. I also hold Master of Arts degree in Central European history (Department of History, Central European University in Budapest). Since 2013 I am president of Polish Oral History Association. My main research interest are: social and cultural history of Central and Eastern Europe in 19th and 20th century, collective memory (especially in the context of war and war veterans), oral history, "war experience" of WWI and WWII (especially: Poles in German army), nationalism and identity, urban history.
In 2014, the European Union was one of the major players in political and cultural discourses remembering the outbreak of World War I. At this point in history, the EU was in a state of crisis: Economy was (and still is) in decline, and EUrope was still lacking a sense of a common identity. This state of crisis in 2014 was nothing less than a "Fortschreiben" of a narrative of a lack of identity, which started much earlier. In 1973, the Copenhagen Summit of the European Community drafted a "Document on the European Identity". This was the starting point of the EUropean identity-political discourse: more than forty years ago, the European integration system started to promote a discourse trying to establish a master narrative of its own history and identity. This discourse emplots the history of WWI and WWII as a narrative of war, to be the historical antecedens of its own history of peace after 1945. Hence, the history of the 20th century before 1945 is the basis the EU identity discourses build on its own historical vision of peace, unity and prosperity. The Great War is part of the scope of this narrative; thus, it has to be told by the EU. In this paper I want to highlight the specific ways the EU uses the remembrance of WW I to emplot its own history of peace-as-identity. I want to put forward the thesis that the EU uses a mode of historical storytelling which can be circumscribed as a "paradoxical coherence": The global era of war before 1945 is told as the opposition to the narrative of peace after 1945. Hence, the narrative of war and peace the EU promotes to tell its own identity to the world has to be seen as a "paradoxical coherence", integrating the ambivalence of the transition in European history after 1945.
Peter Pichler holds a Ph.D. in contemporary history from Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz, Austria. After studies in history, philosophy and media, and doctoral studies in history, he worked as a Research Assistant for the Institut für Geschichte and Institut für Österreichische Rechtsgeschichte und Europäische Rechtsentwicklung at Graz university. Research interests focus on the cultural history of European integration, theory and philosophy of history, as well as the cultural history of Heavy Metal (www.peter-pichler-stahl.at). Amongst others, he published two monographs on the cultural history of European integration (Acht Geschichten über die Integrationsgeschichte. Zur Grundlegung der Geschichte der europäischen Integration als ein episodisches historiographisches Erzählen. Innsbruck: Studienverlag 2011; Leben und Tod in der Europäischen Union. Innsbruck: Studienverlag 2014). Two further monographs on the cultural history of European and integration and theory of contemporary history forthcoming.
With the Enemy Property Act of October 1944, all German nationals and other nationals related to the Axis powers were declared enemy citizens by the Dutch government in exile. The Dutch Trust Fund (Nederlands Beheersinstituut), established in 1945, was authorized to strip these people of most of their assets, regardless of political allegiance or place of residence and without any Dutch compensation. The Act was one of the measures against German nationals as a category, and implemented to enforce legal redress after the Nazi occupation. It was followed by an act to expel all Germans from the Netherlands, known as Operation Black Tulip (Sintemaartensdijk, Nijland 2009), and the Bakker Schut Plan, to annex German territory (Smits 2012). Before 1940, thousands of German nationals held residence in the Netherlands and its overseas territories. Some had a residence permit, such as Grenzbauern, migrant labourers and housemates, or were German through marriage. Others lived and worked as missionaries, artists and entrepreneurs in Suriname or the Dutch East Indies, or were - now stateless - German Jewish refugees without a Dutch legal status. After 1944, all Germans in the Netherlands were politically categorised as enemies, as perpetrators. Their (hi)stories have received little attention from historians and have long been separated from the historiography about the Second World War. The extensive but little researched archive of the Dutch Trust Fund holds the files of ten thousands of cases of enemy citizens. How to approach this archive? What narrative is told? Are the files of German enemy citizens an embodiment of, and illustrative for, Dutch post-war process of transitional justice? Or, as the files contain fragments of the lives of many, should we focus on the individual war narratives? And, if we focus on these individual (hi)stories, what would this mean for Germans as 'perpetrators' or 'bystanders'?
Marieke Oprel (1990) studied political and cultural history at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. During her Research Master she specialized in contemporary history, with a particular focus on the international relations between the Netherlands and Germany after 1945. Since September 2015 she is a PhD-candidate at the Vrije Universiteit and the Institute for German Studies (DIA) in Amsterdam, and Sprecher at the Arbeitskreis Deutsch-Niederla¨ndische Geschichte (ADNG). Her research Germans as enemy citizens focuses on German nationals in the Kingdom of the Netherlands, who were declared enemy citizens because of their German citizenship in the aftermath of WWII. Soon after the German capitulation, regardless of political allegiance or place of residence, these Germans were stripped of their assets. Some were imprisoned, others expelled. Germans as enemy citizens researches these Dutch policies, as a case in point to investigate how citizenship has been further put to the test after WWII.
My aim in this paper is to investigate the relationship between collective memory and collective guilt with an emphasis on national identification for negative events from a social psychological perspective. Collective memory is specifically operationalized within the framework of self-categorization of social identities, particularly national identity. Conditions which national identification leads to experience of collective guilt are elaborated. In the first part, I provide a general and comprehensive understanding of the term collective memory of different accounts. Empirical research examples are reviewed from social psychology studies to give a more concrete sense of nature of collective memory. The significant role of self-categorization in the case of historical transgressions is emphasized which may harm the salience of the national identity. Feeling of guilt from individual to collective level that emerges from misdeeds of one's ancestors is discussed. For induction of collective guilt, I consider self-categorization processes, audience effect, critical attachment to nation, taking responsibility of past and illegitimization of misdeeds and present studies for as subcomponents. In the second part, I have focused on the Armenian Genocide in Turkey. Although historical examination of the event is not elaborated in this paper, the effect of collective memories on national identities is discussed. Collective memory is used for the denial of historical transgressions that may be harmful for the national identity. The strategies that legitimize the harm done are illustrated. These strategies lead to remembrance of the Armenian Genocide in Turkey without collective guilt. However, different collective memories of the same political event lead to an apology campaign in Turkey. In the last part, apologize campaign is elaborated as well as apologies in general which lead to emergence of collective guilt.
Roza Kamiloglu is an MA student at the Department of Psychology, at Koç University in Turkey. She received a B.S degree in Physics and a B.A degree in Psychology from Koc University at 2014. She works as laboratory coordinator and research assistant of KURAM (Research in Autobiographical Memory). In her thesis research, she examines, first, whether individuals experience empathy as a social function of autobiographical memory. Second, she investigates the relationship between shared guilt and shame experiences and different components of empathy as a multifaceted construct in the course of autobiographical memory sharing. Her research interests focus on social interaction; specifically, how social interaction constrains what is remembered or forgotten; also how remembering and forgetting influence social dynamics between a speaker and listener.
The Holocaust formed the backdrop for a great variety of narratives, ranging from testimonies of the likes of Primo Levi and Elie Wiesel to popular books like Sarah's Key and The Baker's Daughter. An interesting fringe phenomenon of the infinite amount of stories that address this subject is the false testimony: the type of narrative intended as a factual account but proven to be fabricated. An example of this is Misha Defonseca's Surviving with wolves, first published in 1997, recounting the story of a Jewish girl who goes looking after her parents, who presumably had been deported to a concentration camp in Eastern Europe. It was not until 2008 that it was finally proven that her memoir was largely fictitious. This paper will address the question how it was possible that Defonseca's audience considered her memoir as a truthful testimony for such a long period. In order to allow for a deeper insight to this question, I will first look at the text of Surviving with wolves, the ethos of the I-narrator and the interplay with the reader it presupposes. Subsequently, I place the story in context of what I consider to be an overarching Holocaust discourse: the vast conglomerate of stories that address the Holocaust, and the tropes and narratives strategies that are commonly used within this framework. The paper finally describes how Defonseca makes her testimony conceivable by making the course of her story fit in the normative constraints of Holocaust discourse, by confirming the pre-existing image the audience has of the historical period and thus living up to its expectations of the Holocaust experience.
Bram Faber (1989) earned his MA degrees in European Studies and Literary Studies at the University of Amsterdam. After specialising in imagology and European identity formation through literature, his current research interests are trauma studies and cultural memory, as well as discourse analysis. Bram is preparing a PhD proposal closely related to the subject his paper addresses.
This study is about the experiences of teachers and students in the production of memory about past violence, and how they struggle to articulate these memories with present concerns and their expectations about the future. In doing this, they rely on some social discourses such as learning lessons from the past which has the potential to offer a better future free from violence and other social problems, an idea commonly attributed to the philosopher George Santayana (1095). To find information about this I conducted research where the voices of the participants are highlighted, and their 'framings' of the past related to dominant ideas and a range of literature about collective remembering. The goal is both to explore experiences, and to reflect on theorising about the role of the past and of memory construction in the lives of educative actors. One of the key findings is that when they refer to aspects of the past, these actors do so to relate this to their present politics of everyday life. In consequence, it is shown that memory interrelates with the past, the present and the future and can be described as "walking a thin line" between these three temporal dimensions. Those interviewed also considered that their work could contribute to sustainable peace, but also insisted that structural violence required reforms beyond a peace agreement, to tackle root causes of social injustice, by reducing poverty and exclusion. The contribution of this research brings the voices of these relevant social actors to the forefront with the understanding of the contradictions, which impose an unusual context where the production of memory has to coexist with different forms of mutually reinforced violence.
Julian David Bermeo Osorio earned a Master's degree in Development Studies, and currently is a graduate from the International Institute of Social Sciences (ISS), specialized in conflict and peace studies. He has implemented strategies to the promotion of peacebuilding initiatives at the community level in Bogotá. From 2013 and 2014, at the early stage of the formal peace dialogues between the Colombian government and the guerrilla groups, he coordinated the initiative Somos Generación de Paz "We are Peace Generation" supported by the Major of Bogotá, which brought together around 1200 young students from public schools in Bogotá to critically reflect about peace and to put in motion actions to contribute with its consolidation. Also, he developed participatory strategies to evaluate the human rights situation within schools as the basis for the formulation of human rights education public policy in Bogotá. Currently, he is interested in the study of the interrelations between memory and education in transitional and postconflict settings about which he wrote his master thesis awarded with distinction.
Rosey E. Pool (1905-1971) was a Dutch translator, writer, poet, and anthologist of Jewish origin. After 1945 she became politically active for the emancipation of African Americans, motivated by her interest in African American poetry. In September 1959, at the age of 54, she visited the United States for the first time. With funding of the United Negro College Fund and additional Fulbright funds she went on an eight month tour through the American South, where she visited a number of black colleges. Before the war, Pool had taught English to Anne Frank and her parents. Anne Frank had become a 'celebrity' in the United States after the war - especially after her diary had been put into a Broadway play in 1955. Half of Pool's lectures were dedicated to her suddenly famous former pupil. Knowledge of the Shoah was still shattered and fragmented in this period (Dan Stone 2004:65). This provided opportunities as well as limitations for Pool in her personal narrative of Anne Frank. Often Pool encountered sceptic people and journalists, who hardly believed that the young girl had written it herself. Often Pool perkily defended the diary: 'Americans fail to realize that children in Western Europe are far ahead of American children in education.' Pool's lecture tour shows how the Shoah enabled the articulation of other histories of victimisation, such as African American history (Michael Rothberg 2009) - although this only worked to a certain extent. Pool's comparison of Nazi discrimination and the ongoing segregation in the American South was rarely detected by American journalists. For Pool herself, lecturing about her WWII experiences helped her to turn herself into a 'survivor,' instead of a 'victim' (Smith and Watson 2010:282).
Lonneke Geerlings (1986) was trained in Cultural Studies and History at the Vrije Universiteit (Amsterdam), Leiden University, and the University of Dundee (UK). During and after her studies she has been involved in the graphic design, and the writing and editing of several (journalistic) books and magazines. Since 2014 she is a PhD candidate at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam and editor for Historica. Tijdschrift voor gendergeschiedenis. The research Travelling translator. Rosey Pool (1905-1971) a Dutch cultural mobiliser in the 'transatlantic century' focuses on Rosey Pool - a writer, translator, and cultural anthropologist of Jewish descent. Already in the 1920s, Pool was involved in the Négritude movement and corresponded with various Black Poets. During the Second World War she was a teacher of Anne Frank, was active in a German-Jewish resistance group, and escaped from Westerbork. After the war, she became involved in the British and American Black Arts Movements.
Most of the historians who wrote the history of World War II in postwar Germany had fought in it as soldiers or witnessed it as children. Yet, this intimate connection between biography and historiography has largely remained neglected in analyses of narratives of the war in divided Germany. This paper argues that we can learn much about the genesis and texture of these narratives by focusing on the biographies of their individual authors, the historiographical works they produced as historians, and the perceptions of these works in a highly politicized academic and wider public. I will briefly examine the war experiences of five prominent WWII historians - Karl-Dietrich Erdmann, Andreas Hillgruber, Manfred Messerschmidt in the West, and Stefan Doernberg and Olaf Groehler in the East. I will relate their experiences to the narratives of war these men published after 1945, all of which were of seminal relevance to the respective academic fields and memorial cultures - some of these books we consider as canonical texts to this day. Based on a range of primary sources, both biographical and historiographical, such as war diaries, letters, private notes, autobiographical texts as well as works of academic history, I will argue that the latter can be read as autobiographical documents as well. Surprisingly often they contain references to individual war experiences. The personal coping is intertwined with the interpretation of World War II as a story of bloody triumph (East) and humiliating defeat (West) respectively. Routinely, personal war experiences are more or less subtly invoked to lend legitimacy to the proposed narrative. Finally, the paper will weigh the relevance and consequences of this nexus for the public reception of these World War II accounts in postwar Germany - all of which composed by veterans or intimate witnesses of the battles (and crimes) they recount.
Christina Morina is DAAD Visiting Assistant Professor at the German Studies Institute Amsterdam; previously, she has worked as lecturer at the University of Jena in Germany. In 2007, she received a PhD from the University of Maryland. Her dissertation was published in 2011 as Legacies of Stalingrad: Remembering the Eastern Front War in Germany since 1945 (CUP, paperback 2013). She is currently finishing her second monograph (Habilitation), a biographical study of the first generation of European Marxists entitled Schwierigkeiten mit der Wirklichkeit. Weltaneignung und Weltanschauung im frühen Marxismus. The findings she presents in her conference paper spring from in a collaborative project on the nexus between individual experiences and historical writing in postwar German historiography. The results will be published in 2016 as Das 20. Jahrhundert erzählen. Zeiterfahrung und Zeiterforschung im geteilten Deutschland (Göttingen: Wallstein, co-edited with Franka Maubach).
This paper examines the role of colonial personal photography in shaping collective narratives of the Indonesian War of Independence (1945-49) in the postcolonial Netherlands. I analyse how one colonial family album, which in many ways is atypical of its genre, 'speaks' to a prominent archival project addresses at the Dutch public: the online 'Photo Seeks Family' (Foto Zoekt Familie) initiative of the Tropenmuseum (Amsterdam). The museum aims to reunite 342 'lost' family albums from the former Indies with the mostly (Indo-)European descendants of their makers. This project singles out a relatively small proportion of albums in the Netherlands' larger, multi-institutional archival holdings of such sources for restitution on a public stage. 'Photo Seeks Family' thus taps into an important postcolonial discourse that figures family memories of the colonial past in terms of loss and rupture. That discourse is upheld by the muteness of the family photograph album, which struggles to narrate itself outside the intimate circles for whom it was originally made. The album of GMG Douwes Dekker (1883-1959), by contrast, eloquently narrates itself. In 1950, Douwes Dekker made a scrap book dense with annotations from the photographic remains of 30 albums destroyed by looters during the War of Independence. It is thus a self-made salvage work that addresses aims similar to the 'Photo Seeks Family' project. The photos in Douwes Dekker's album uphold an apolitical vision of the domesticated colonial idyll, a theme common to colonial family photography. However, the extensive text in his album (re)politicises this benign picture. Douwes Dekker's notes resonate with the agenda of Dutch veterans of the war in the decades after 1950, who wanted restitution for the suffering and losses of Dutch men and welfare rights in the post-war Netherlands.
Susie Protschky is a Senior Lecturer in History at Monash University (Melbourne, Australia). She is a cultural historian of European colonialism, focusing particularly on visual culture in the Dutch imperium. She has held a major national fellowship (an Australian Research Council APD) in 2010-15, and was a Visiting Fellow at the KITLV (Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies), Leiden, in 2014. Her key publications include the book, Images of the Tropics: Environment and Visual Culture in Colonial Indonesia (Brill/ KITLV Press, 2011) and edited volume, Photography, Modernity and the Governed in Late-Colonial Indonesia (Amsterdam University Press, 2015), as well as 14 essays in major journals and edited books.
The events around the siege of Haarlem in July 1573 have passed down to history as notably cruel. Chronicles relating the miseries inside and outside of the city were written from both sides of the conflict. In this paper I will explore the similitudes and differences in the manner the events were narrated in the Spanish and Dutch texts. While doing so I will focus on the background of such testimonies, such as the political and religious affiliation of the chronicler and the moment of composition. Previous research has shown important changes depending on the context, for instance during the Twelve Years' Truce. Moreover, this case study aims at showing how a comparative approach makes the study of anecdotes of great interest for understanding narratives of war.
I completed my bachelor in History at the University of Barcelona in 2010 and specialized in the Dutch Golden Age during the Research Master in History at the University of Amsterdam. My main research interest is the contact between Spain and the Netherlands during the Early Modern period, with a focus on imagological aspects. Accordingly, my Master thesis focused on the introduction of Spanish theatre plays in Amsterdam during the last years of war with Spain. In September 2014 I started my PhD research project 'War Heroes and War Criminals', for which I search for portrayals of Spanish commanders both in Spanish and Dutch sources written during the Eighty Years' War. My main sources are chronicles from varying periods and war scenarios that offer a wide variety of attitudes toward Spaniards in the Low Countries.
The 14th of July of 1573 the Spanish troops took the control of the city of Haarlem after seven months of siege. The surrender of the city was followed by the execution of about 2000 inhabitants of the city, the garrison and few magistrates among them. Most letters I will analyse for this paper refer to this event within the War in Holland (1573-1575). Spanish commanders involved in the war wrote to their superiors explaining the course of the campaign. Although these letters contain mostly factual information, these anecdotes are intertwined with elements such as violence and misery. These letters provide us a unique vision on warfare that differs greatly from the one offered by policy makers. The narrations to be found in these letters (written on the spur of the moment) relate to specific events and allow us to delve into the experiences of war during the Early Modern Period.
Beatriz Santiago Belmonte is a PhD candidate at the Institute for History in Leiden University. She completed her bachelor in History at the Complutense University of Madrid (2006-2011) and specialized in the Early Modern Spain during a Master degree in History of Spanish Monarchy (16th-19th Centuries). Her Master thesis was a study of the role played by foreigners within the Spanish Court of Habsburgs in the Early Modern Period. She also did an internship in the Royal Academy of History of Spain (March-June 2012) where she participated in the composition of the Diccionario Biográfico Español (2009-2013). Since August 2014 she is working on her PhD dissertation entitled "Spanish Heroes in the Low Countries. The Experience of War during the First Decade of the Dutch Revolt (1567-1577)".
Within the NWO Vrije Competitie project Facing the Enemy. The Spanish Army Commanders during the First Decade of the Dutch Revolt (1567-1577) we study how war heroes and war criminals were created in narrative sources from Spain and the Low Countries. We also investigate how these images relate to the actual war experiences of the same commanders using their letters, a rich source virtually neglected up to the present. Both the chronicles and the letters share a lack of distance from the events and the people they refer to. They retain a very fragmented character and are filled with short factual episodes on the protagonists and their actions. Within both historiography and literary studies, such descriptions with a high episodic, anecdotal nature have received little attention, precisely because they remain too close to the facts and therefore resist theoretical analysis. As Hayden White stated with some disapproval: 'These narratives do not conclude, they just terminate'. However, anecdotes can be regarded as the delivery room of historiography, where fact and fiction remain closely intertwined.
Raymond Fagel (1962) is lecturer in Early Modern History at the History Institute of Leiden University. His research is centered on the contacts between Spain and the Low Countries during the Sixteenth Century and on this subject he also wrote his dissertation: De Hispano-Vlaamse wereld. De contacten tussen Spanjaarden en Nederlanders 1496-1555. Other books include a general history of Spain as co-editor and co-author: Het land van Don Quichot. De Spanjaarden en hun geschiedenis (Amsterdam 2011) and a short monograph on Spanish commander Julián Romero: Kapitein Julián. De Spaanse held van de Nederlandse Opstand (Hilversum 2011). Currently he is leading an NWO funded research project on the Spanish commanders in the Low Countries during the first decade of the Dutch Revolt together with two PhD researchers. He is also interested in the history of emigration from the Low Countries during the Renaissance (ca. 1480-1560).
The paper analyses the Italian reception of American representations of the Second World War, a subject which has only been partially explored by historiography. In fact, studies on the memory of WWII in Italy have mainly focused on a national scale, on those aspects of the conflict that directly affected Italian people (German occupation, Allied bombings, the Resistance). Nevertheless, these are not the only representations of the war that spread over Italy, maybe not even the most important. American narratives about WWII, mainly but not exclusively conveyed by war movies, had a great diffusion, and offered a very different representation of the conflict, both for the events they focused on and for the interpretation they gave of such events. The paper will be divided into two parts. The first one will point out the features of American representations of WWII "exported" to Italy: movies will be the main source; other sources will be the products of US propaganda dealing with the conflict (books, pamphlets, documentaries). The second part will discuss the sources available for the analysis of Italian reception of American narratives: film reviews (on both popular and specialised press); magazines and tabloids, which often dealt with some typical topics of American narratives (e.g.: the D-day, the Pacific war); polls, interviews, and sociological inquiries. Finally, some theoretical and methodological issues will be underlined: how did American narratives interact with the Italian ones? Can collective memories be imported? What role did imported memories play in shaping the post-war order in a country, like Italy, which was widely open to American cultural, political, and economic influence? The aim is to underline the importance of a transnational perspective in the study of the creation, diffusion, and modification of war narratives in post-war societies - especially in contemporary societies, where global media system plays a major role.
Daniele Pipitone completed a PhD in Contemporary History at the University of Turin in 2009: the thesis, converted into a monograph in 2013, dealt with the political cultures of Italian Social Democrats (1945-1953). He went on studying the political and cultural history of XX century Italy, as post-doctoral fellow as well as member of research teams. He is research fellow ("cultore della materia") at the University of Turin, and he is currently working on the biography of Aldo Garosci, a well-known anti-fascist scholar, politician and journalist, with a grant funded by the Istituto Piemontese per la Storia della Resistenza e della Società Contemporanea. His interest in the cultural memory of WWII dates back to 2014, and a first article on the theme is going to be published in the next month.
The Istrian peninsula was severed from the Habsburg Monarchy at the end of the First World War. Italy had long nurtured a hope to take the port of Trieste and the rest of the peninsula from the Viennese Monarchy and had entered the war in 1915 with the explicit aim of gaining their 'unreedemed' territories. In the 1920s and 1930s, the Italian state, fortified by the addition of the port of Rijeka, began a campaign of Italianisation, effectively weakening the Slovenian and Croatian intelligentsia and workers movement in Istria. The Italian State collapsed in 1943, but was fortified by Nazi Germany until its own demise in 1945. By the end of the conflict, millions of Axis civilians were in the wrong place at the wrong time and subjected to acts of revenge and retribution. British and British Imperial views on Trieste in 1945 have been examined in this article with a focus on first-hand accounts as well as memoirs and diaries. Many British and New Zealanders found themselves in North East Italy at the end of the Second World War, primarily as soldiers or newspaper reporters. Although the Italians had been part of the Axis, British observers showed marked pro-Italians sympathies when it came to the fate of the city of Trieste. Although they seemed to be in awe of the Yugoslav Partisans, they were not entirely convinced of their good intentions.
Cathie Carmichael is Professor of History at the University of East Anglia, Norwich where she teaches Eastern European History and is Head of School. Her research has been concerned with ethnicity, boundaries and borders in South East Europe. She is the author and editor of several books including Slovenia and the Slovenes: a Small State in the New Europe (with James Gow) (2000), Language and Nationalism in Europe (co-edited with the late Stephen Barbour) (2000), Ethnic Cleansing in the Balkans: Nationalism and the Destruction of Tradition (2002), Genocide before the Holocaust (2009) and A Concise History of Bosnia (2015). She has been an editor of the Journal of Genocide Research since 2008.
When the United States entered World War II, they had to deal with the enormous contradiction due to the millions of Italian-Americans who lived in the US. The majority of Italian-Americans supported the war efforts. Roosevelt used immigration from Italy as a cultural bridge, and highlighted friendship and closeness between the two nations. Before Allied landing in Sicily on 10 July 1943, Allied propaganda emphasized Italianness of American troops: they came as friends to free Italy of Fascism, and the Italians would give them a warm welcome. As a matter of fact, when the Allies landed in Sicily, Italy was considered an enemy country, and the encounter between civilisations was full of contradictions, as historical sources demonstrate. This paper explores how Italians and Americans throughout both the war and post-war period narrate the experience of the Italians and Italian-Americans encounter and its paradoxes. We will try to analyze how and if, personal war experience is elaborated by protagonists through media, such as novels and films, within collective narration which represents the invasion as a Liberation. Notably, John Hersey's 1944 novel A Bell for Adano, and the film based on it (1945), popularized American occupation and the fraternization model through Italian-American Major Joppolo's character. In contrast, there are films and books that complicate this pattern, such as Roberto Rossellini's neo-realist film Paisà (1946), where fraternization paradigm is overturned by tragic epilogue. We can also quote an episode of John Horne Burns' novel, The Gallery (1947), where Stuki, an Italian-American soldier, symbolizes the Anglo-Saxon prejudice against Italians. Moreover, we can consider Reunion in Sicily (1950), the post-war memories of Italian-American writer Jerre Mangione, as well as writer and witness Leonardo Sciascia's novels, for example La Zia d'America (1958), which help to elaborate the storytelling of the "warm welcome" rhetoric.
Manoela Patti is fixed term Researcher (2015-2018) in Contemporary History at the Department of Political Sciences and International Relations - Dems at Palermo University. She took a Phd in Contemporary History in 2011 with a dissertation titled Gli Alleati nel lungo dopoguerra del Mezzogiorno (1943-1946) (The Allies in post-World War II in Southern Italy. 1943-1946). Her studies focus on Second World War, the history of the Mafia and of the transnational Mafia networks in the Twentieth century, Fascism and also Migration History. Among her publications: La mafia alla sbarra. I processi fascisti a Palermo, Istituto Poligrafico Europeo, Palermo 2014; La Sicilia e gli alleati. Tra occupazione e Liberazione, Donzelli, Rome 2013; (with V. Coco), Relazioni mafiose. La mafia ai tempi del fascismo, XL edizioni, Rome 2010.
The aim of this paper is to analyse the narratives of Great War in the literary (Through Tempest/Kroz buru, 1921; The Wings/Krila, 1922; The Life of the Man in the Balkans/Život coveka na Balkanu, 1968) and the cinematic (film Calvary of Serbia/Golgota Srbije, 1940) oeuvre of Stanislav Krakov. Comparative analysis reveals not only narrative structures and strategies specific for each media but also charts their interactions and stylistic exchange. The avant-garde style of early novels (Through Tempest; The Wings) evolves into (reconstructive) cinematic documentarism of the most important Serbian film about Great War (alternatively entitled Calvary of Serbia, Za cast otadžbine/For the Honor of the Fatherland, Požar na Balkanu/The Balkans in Flames); while the cinematic documentarism in return shapes the style of his late autobiography/autofiction (The Life of the Man in the Balkans). The avant-garde and the traditional narrative strategies and temporal structures in novels and film help the revival and preservation of the memory of Great War as part of the post 2012 state's politics of memory. Simultaneously, they mark the multidirectional (ex)change between Serbian mythomoteur of sacrifice and poetics of death of Kosovo and the myth of survival and return to homeland and poetics of life of Great War.
Nevena Dakovic, PhD is professor of Film Theory/Film Studies (Dept. of Theory and History, FDA, Belgrade) and the Chair of Interdisciplinary PhD Art and Media Studies (UoA, Belgrade). She is the author of eight books (latest being Film Studies: Essays in Film Texts of Memory, 2014, etc...) and editor of many others (Representation of the Holocaust in the Balkans in Arts and Media, 2015) etc. Nevena Dakovic publishes widely in the national and international framework (UK, Turkey, Slovakia, Italy, Austria, France, USA), participates at the conferences and is committee member of international project groups (COST and TEMPUS projects). She is visiting professor at European and American universities. Main research themes: representation, the Balkans, Shoah, cultural memory, media archaeology.
At the convergence of cultural, area, gender and terrorism studies, this paper looks at the representation of female terrorists in media, cinema and academia. In order to investigate the narration of the lived experience of female terrorists within the Liberation Tamil Tigers of Eelam (LTTE), this study looks at one documentary and one fiction film: Beate Arnestad's My Daughter the Terrorist (2007) and Santosh Sivan's Theeviravaathi: The Terrorist (1998). Taking a queue from feminist critiques of terrorism studies the paper questions and critiques the narrative framework that portrays female violence as exceptional, versus the normative male, and the consequences of such specific sub-categorization within media and academia. Furthermore, the implicit gender subordination that underlies such dissociations contribute to the denial of agency in committing violent political acts based on its non-conformity to idealized notions of femininity and gendered stereotypes. The purpose of the study is consequently to demonstrate how gendered narrative frameworks are utilized implicitly and explicitly within the two films in order to convey not only life within a terrorist group, but also highlighting unarticulated patriarchal epistemologies and ontologies that are being fortified through mechanisms which continue to subvert female agency. The portrayals offered on civil war, by guerilla soldiers, intend to focus explicitly on the female experience, yet fails to break from patriarchal mechanisms that continue to subordinate female agentic capacities. The paper addresses narrative strategies of portraying female violence, the woman as a terrorist, changing concepts of war through terrorism and the narrative frameworks through which these subjects are articulated.
Hanna Gjelten Hattrem completed her BA in Archaeology and History of Art at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London in 2013 where she wrote here thesis on political art in Sri Lanka. In 2014 she started the research masters programme in Cultural Analysis at the University of Amsterdam, and she is currently working on a thesis surrounding Roma memory, culture and stereotyping in film and media. Her research interests include: Romani Studies, South Asian art and culture; globalization and migration; decoloniality and post-colonialism. Previous work experience includes archaeological fieldwork in Sri Lanka (Central Cultural Fund), and Norway (Cultural History Museum, Oslo).
My paper investigates 'war stories' as told through a medium that is known as 'battle paintings'. By looking at a series of such paintings dating from the late 18th to the later 19th century we can see how a vision of war was constructed across Europe which was not simply novel, but revolutionary. What the art form illustrates in particular is a radically changing valuation of the role of death in war and in the conduct of war. From an incidental by-product, the infliction of death moved centre-stage in war. This changing narrative of war reflects the success of a major new conceptualisation of war, exemplified especially in the theory of war of the Prussian general and thinker Carl von Clausewitz (1780-1831). This narrative not only superseded a very different one in Europe, but achieved such 'naturalness' and 'truth' that it continues to dominate the modern Western understanding of what war is and how it should be conducted. As a result, it blinds us to other possible conceptualisations, visualisations and practices of war. The proposed paper is part of a book I am contracted to write for Cambridge University Press under the title 'Winning Wars: The Invention of Strategy and Modern Warfare'.
Jan Willem Honig is a senior lecturer in the Department of War Studies, King's College London. Between 2007 and 2011, he was the first holder of the Chair in Military Strategy at the Swedish National Defence College in Stockholm, where he remains a visiting professor. He also held research fellowships with the Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University, the Center of International Studies, Princeton University and the Remarque Institute, New York University. His recent publications include an edition of Sun Tzu, published by Barnes & Noble in New York, an edited volume (with Andreas Herberg-Rothe and Daniel Moran) on Clausewitz, the State, and War (in the series 'Staatsdiskurse' with Franz Steiner Verlag) and a major re-evaluation of the strategy behind the battle of Agincourt, which appeared in the journal War in History.