Memory politics worldwide is often shaped by the dynamics of relations and tensions between hegemonic narratives, counter-memories and silent communities at the global, national and local levels. Transnational advocacy movements, international agents and organisations influence the application of terminologies and frameworks in which global hegemonic narratives operate. State actors influence and shape hegemonic narratives, silence others or deny their existence in order to legitimise their incumbency and state/nation-building efforts. Local actors – from civil society groups to individuals – often counter top-down efforts of hegemonic narratives by the creation of their own narratives, memories or by silence. In post-conflict and conflict societies the relations between different groups and actors advocating hegemonic narratives becomes all the more acute and tense as the social and political fabric is eroded and in flux by the conflict-generated transformative changes.
How do we understand hegemonic narratives in post-war societies? What do we know about them? How can we conceptualise hegemonic narratives in research inquiry? What constitutes such narratives in societies emerging from conflicts or in the midst of conflict? What is their role in relation to other mnemonic practices such as silencing, forgetting, neglecting, amnesia, or denial? And if they are, in what way do they differ? This symposium seeks to discuss these and other questions using a large number of case studies that can speak to some aspects of memory politics and hegemonic narratives.
The key aims of this day-long symposium are to:
Discuss the dynamics of hegemonic narratives at local, national and global level with a special reference to post-conflict situations;
Examine the various roles of actors, agents and institutions in shaping, organising, influencing, challenging and transforming memories and key narratives in (post-)conflict societies;
Facilitate an interdisciplinarity discussion in memory and a cross-disciplinary debates about the roles of memory in post-war societies;
Theorise and conceptualise different types, approaches to studies of memory, silence, forgetting and remembering;
Discuss the various roles of victims, perpetrators and new conflict-engendered communities.
Second Keynote and Concluding Remarks; The Hegemonic Rememberance in Post Communist Eastern Europe
Jelena Subotic gives the second and final keynote of the conference, chaired by Jessie Barton-Hronesova. Followed by concluding remarks and next step plans by Jessie Barton-Hronesova and Johana Wyss. KEYNOTE II: THE HEGEMONIC NARRATIVES OF HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE IN POST-COMMUNIST EASTERN EUROPE
Jelena Subotic (Georgia State U); chaired by Jessie Barton-Hronesova (University of Oxford).
Jessie Barton-Hronesova (University of Oxford) and Johana Wyss (IE, Czech Academy of Sciences and Max Planck): summary and next steps
Panel 3: How do Local Memories and Grassroots Mnemonic Actors Challenge National Grand Narratives?
Andreza de Souza Santos, Graham Dawson and Jocelyn Alexander give presentations the third panel. Chaired by Kathrin Bachleitner. Andreza de Souza Santos (University of Oxford), 'Inconvenient Narratives: Slavery recounted in Brazil’s former gold mines'
Graham Dawson (University of Brighton), 'Grassroots oral history and the politics of ‘hegemonic memory’ on West Belfast interfaces after the Northern Ireland war'
Jocelyn Alexander (University of Oxford), 'Gukurahundi and the question of recognition in Zimbabwe'
chaired by Kathrin Bachleitner (University of Oxford).
Panel 2: What is the Relationship between Hegemonic Memories, Silence and Nationalism?
Barbara Törnquist-Plewa and Craig Larkin give presentstions in the second panel of the conference. Chaired by Johana Wyss. Barbara Törnquist-Plewa (Lundt University); 'Changing narratives about the past of Wroclaw. Struggles over mnemonic hegemony in a city'
Craig Larkin (King’s College) 'Postmemory in (Post)conflict Societies: reflections from Lebanon'
chaired by Johana Wyss (IE, Czech Academy of Sciences and Max Planck).
Panel 1: What is the Role of International Actors in Shaping the Hierarchy of Memory?
Jasna Dragovic-Soso, Lord John Alderdice, Rachel Ibreck give presentations in the first panel of the conference. Chaired by Jessie Barton-Hronesova. Jasna Dragovic-Soso (Goldsmiths), 'Memory and Justice in the Aftermath of War and Mass Crime: Contemporary Serbia and the West German ‘model'
Lord Alderdice (University of Oxford), 'Casting some light on the long, dark shadow of the past'
Rachel Ibreck (Goldsmiths), ‘We should have learned from Rwanda’: the regional political opportunities and constraints' of a hegemonic narrative of genocide memory and justice in Eastern Africa
chaired by Jessie Barton-Hronesova (University of Oxford).
Opening Remarks and First Keynote; Curated Stories and the Misuses of Storytelling
Jessie Barton-Hronesova, Johana Wyss and Diego Sánchez-Ancochea introduce the conference and Sujatha Fernandes gives the first keynote to the conference. OPENING REMARKS
Jessie Barton-Hronesova (University of Oxford), Johana Wyss (IE, Czech Academy of Sciences and Max Planck) and Diego Sánchez-Ancochea (Head of the Oxford Department of International Development): Introduction and Practical details.
KEYNOTE I: CURATED STORIES: THE USES AND MISUSES OF STORYTELLING
Sujatha Fernandes (University of Sydney), chaired by Johana Wyss (IE, Czech Academy of Sciences and Max Planck).