Histories of Forgetting

Now in print, the latest issue of E-rea, Aix-Marseille University’s electronic journal of anglophone studies, takes as its theme Histories of Forgetting in the English and French-speaking Worlds, 20th-21st centuries:

http://erea.revues.org/2734
Co-edited by Matthew Graves (LERMA/APMC) and Valérie André (LERMA), issue 10.1 brings together researchers from France, Australia, the United Kingdom and Ireland who explore, from a transdisciplinary social and human sciences perspective, the lacunae in collective memory and the lost, concealed or censored episodes of the national past; those ‘forgotten’ histories that persist in counterpoint to canonical histories and conventional narratives of identity or which, once reconverted, may be used to underwrite them.

Histories of ‘forgotten’ conflicts feature prominently, with case studies drawn from the First and Second World Wars, including the struggle for the recognition of Australia’s aboriginal veterans, as well as the strategic forgetting of colonial pasts in Africa and Ireland.

“What is interesting about the latest issue of the online journal E-rea is how it redirects our attention towards European fields of memory which are less familiar than the French or German – the Northern Irish for instance – while also looking beyond Europe at Australia’s collective memory which has long been scarred by the strategic forgetting of the aboriginal past.” Emmanuel Laurentin, La Fabrique de l’Histoire, France Culture, 11/01/2013

https://www.franceculture.fr/blog-la-semaine-historique-d-emmanuel-laurentin-2013-01-11-la-semaine-du-110113

General editor: Prof. Sylvie Mathé (LERMA/AMU)

Contents

Editors: Matthew Graves & Valérie André (AMU)

Introduction:  Histories of Forgetting in the English and French-speaking Worlds, 20th-21st centuries.

I. The Colonial Past, between Forgetting and Re-appropriation

Robert Aldrich (USYD), Commemorating Colonialism in a Post-Colonial World.

Virginie Bernard (CREDO/EHESS), The Forgotten : exemple de réappropriation aborigène de lhistoire officielle australienne.

II. War Memory, from Erasure to Remembrance

Deirdre Gilfedder (Paris XI), The Imperial Nature of the Australian National War Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux.

Ciaran Wallace  (UCD), Between Remembering and Forgetting: Ireland and the Boer War.

Elizabeth Rechniewski (USYD), Forgetting and Remembering the Darwin Bombings.

III. Difficult Pasts and Reconciliation

Stanislas Hommet (UCaen), Enseigner les passes douloureux en Europe: entre oubli et hypermnésie, quelle place pour lenseignement? Présentation dun projet européen de recherche.

Karine Bigand (AMU), Peace in History and Heritage. Some thoughts on Northern Ireland.

Fabrice Mourlon (Paris XIII), Official responses to dealing with the past in Northern Ireland.

IV. Rewriting History in the Era of Commemoration

Catherine Delmas (Grenoble III), Remembering place, revisiting the past.

( …)

 

UK Government and Charity Fund Auschwitz School Trips

The UK government in conjunction with the Holocaust Educational Trust is currently funding visits to Auschwitz by two pupils from each school in the UK.  This mirrors the position adopted by David Cameron in regard to war cemeteries when announcing Britain’s Great War Centenary funding earlier this month.

These two BBC reports give you a sense of what the intension of the funding is to be and how the experience will be transmitted throughout the other pupils of each school in the UK.  In times of public sector cut-backs, this initiative must be deemed important.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-20001037

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-dorset-17307528

I include these here as in thinking about the Great War one hundred years after the event it is almost impossible to do so without reference to the Second World War and in particular the Holocaust. This must be particularly true in Germany, but elsewhere throughout the (western?) world too.

It would be interesting to see if these two episodes in history (the Great War and the Holocaust) become part of a broader understanding of the twentieth century at the end of the Centenary period and what that understanding might be.

Ben Wellings

Ben Wellings is Lecturer of European Studies at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.

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‘Looking back on the Asia-Pacific War: Art, Cinema and Media’

International Symposium to be held at the University of Sydney, 5 November 2012. Free, public event, all welcome.

The Cultural Resonance of Conflict and Reconciliation in the Australian and Japanese Imaginary.

Reconciliation is often represented as taking place at an official level between governments, through memorial diplomacy, joint ceremonies, treaties, trade agreements etc. However it can be argued that the deeper and more significant shifts in understanding are realised and expressed in symbolic form, in art and literature, ritual and ceremony. This symposium explores the cultural shifts in the post-World War II relationship between Australia and Japan, as these have been articulated in theatre, film and literature. The keynote speakers include creative artists and practitioners who have taken up the challenges of expressing and contributing to these developments in their work.

Guest speakers include:

John Romeril, Rising Sun, Red Centre

Keiji Sawada, Ngapartji Ngapartji: an Australian Indigenous Play Evoking Memories of Marralinga, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Fukushima

Michael Lewis, War and Filmic Remembrance: The Ambon Atrocity, Blood Oath, and Essential Obstacles to Reconciliation.

Additional sessions on theatre and cinema with papers by Adam Broinowski, Yasuko Claremont, Mats Karlsson and Roman Rosenbaum.

2:30-3:30 Special Session: Bringing the Spirits of the Aboriginal Diggers to Rest. Rod Plant, Chairperson of the Kokoda Aboriginal Servicemen’s Campaign, with Liz Rechniewski.

A report on the campaign that enabled the culturally appropriate burial rites to be performed in PNG to bring to rest the estranged spirits of the aboriginal diggers who died and were buried during the Kokoda campaign.

Full programme can be viewed at : http://sydney.edu.au/arts/publications/JOSA/AsiaPacificWarPart2.htm