Memory as a Dialogue? History for Young People


Nina Frieß & Félix Krawatzek

Historical narratives are foundational for most collective identities. The way any group relates to its history has implications for its political and social imaginaries and what is politically feasible. Given that importance, the political or social elite of a group tends to invest significant resources into the kind of historical narratives that are being cultivated. These narratives often suggest an appropriate behaviour that qualifies a person as a member of the respective group, be that a nation, a region or an ethnicity. One important target of those historical narratives are young people at an age when their historical interest takes shape and when it is still seems possible to influence their historical outlook.

This workshop wishes to bring together scholars working on the production of historical narratives, particularly as these manifest in cultural artefacts such as literature and film, and those working on the reception of these narratives among young people. Perspectives can be both historical as well as focused on the present. The workshop will be constructed around a set of dialogues between these two perspectives in order to explore the extent to which one can identify similar patterns of interpretation or narrative echoes. These dialogues will be focussed on a specific country case, a region, or other groups such as migrant communities, social classes or social movements. The geographical area covered is Europe, and as an overarching theme of the workshop, we are particularly interested in developing a comparative perspective between different countries. We strongly encourage submissions that address different parts of Europe, stretching from Russia to Portugal, and Finland to Greece.