Conference ‘Judging the Past in a Post-Cold War World’

Judging the Past in a Post Cold-War World

Date: 28 September, 2015 – 09:00 – 30 September, 2015 – 17:30

Venue: HRC Conference Room Bldg # 14, ANU

The collapse of the Soviet Union accelerated the search for justice and truth on the part of many millions of people whose lives had been overshadowed by the cold war, in many countries, for nearly half a century.

Keynote Speakers (to be confirmed)

Katherine Hite (Professor of Political Science on the Frederick Ferris Thompson Chair, Vassar)

Henry Rousso (Directeur de recherche au CNRS Institut d’histoire du temps présent

Demands for justice and for recognition of suffering and loss have resulted in national Truth and Reconciliation Commissions, prosecution (or attempted prosecution) of state officials, politicians and military officers and the construction of monuments and memorials as sites of memory. They have inspired an outpouring of literary and artistic works, and a flourishing film and documentary industry. These attempts at settling the legacy of the Cold War are often marked, however, by on-going dissent and recrimination, as the past “refuses to pass.”

This conference aims to trace these various ways of judging the past both in the countries at the hot centre of the Cold War and in those that were swept up in the wake of its confrontations. How have we and how can we come to terms with a past that is still so present?

Concluding an Australian Research Council Discovery Project on this theme, the organisers seek discussion on any and all means of attempts at redress, for example, legal and social, or through the arts, media and literature.

We look forward to receiving panel proposals, as well as individual presentations.

The closing date for submission of proposals is 31 May 2015.

We ask for an abstract of 250 words from each individual presenter or panel representative. All abstracts will be refereed by the organizing committee, and the results notified by 30 June 2015.

Postgraduate contributions welcome

We especially welcome contributions on:

  • National Commissions of enquiry
  • Studies in individual countries
  • Retributive and restorative justice
  • Secondary victims
  • Literary and artistic judgments
  • The second and third generations
  • The struggle to memorialise
  • Exile communities
  • History Wars and the politicization of the historian

For further enquiries please contact Colette Gilmour ( HRC, or the organising committee members:


University House

A selection of standard twins and queen suites has been blocked for this conference. The rate on a standard twin is $152 per night bed and breakfast and on a suite $167 per night bed and breakfast. Please call 6125 5275 or 6125 5276 Monday to Friday 8:30 – 5:30pm

Please quote ‘Judging the Past in a Post Cold-War World’ when booking.

Hotel Hotel

Hotel Novatel Canberra

Quest Apartments Canberra


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