Ghent (Belgium), 23, 24 & 25 November 2015
Since their earliest inception, modern states and their regimes have recognized the importance to draft and direct ‘their’ national history. Although 19th century models of romanticist nationalist history lie behind us, post 1945 reality shows that regimes as a rule still recognize the protection of ‘national history’ as an intrinsic part of national state interest. State interventionism in the drafting of national history has arguably increased since the early 1990s, although the shapes, forms, contexts, goals and outcome continues to diversify and complexify.
We want to promote an interdisciplinary debate on the history that is created when state authorities mobilize their financial, political, cultural, judicial and/or academic resources to set up a durable construction of historiographies, collective memories and public narratives or visual representations related to (perceived) ‘national history’. The main aims of the conference are: 1) to create an overview of the diversity of forms of state-sponsored history around the globe 2) to analyze processes of state influence 3) to analyze the types of histories and narratives that result from this.
We are especially (but not exclusively) interested in papers that discuss the appearance of state-sponsored history in:
– ‘memory laws’, ‘amnesty laws’ and other forms of ‘legislated history’
– ‘historical apologies’ and the ‘diplomatic’ history
– classroom history, initiatives of civic education and the creation of historical ‘canons’ – sites of national commemoration (monuments, landscapes etc.)
– museums and documentation and research centres
– Archives, archival laws and science policies
– truth commissions and historical expert commissions – courts and tribunals
The conference aims to be global in its geographical scope. In terms of the timeframe we want to focus on the period since 1945. We welcome a variety of approaches, including theoretical ones, however, we ask all contributors to use one or more concrete cases as a starting point. We will consider both proposals for panel sessions as well as individual papers. Panel proposals should preferably include a commentator and a chair.
We plan to plan to publish a selection of the papers as part of a volume on state-sponsored history which we are creating for the Palgrave Handbooks series.
Those interested in taking part in the conference are asked to submit an abstract (maximum 700 words) before 15 July 2015. Notifications of acceptance will be send out by the middle of August 2015.
Please send abstracts and questions to:
Ghent University – Department of History
9000 Ghent – Belgium
Square d’Aviation 29
1070 Brussels – Belgium