Commemorations in perspective: How do European memories interact?
August 23 is both the International Slave Trade Remembrance Day, as declared in 1998 by UNESCO, and the European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism, as proclaimed by the European Parliament in 2008/2009.
August 23 stands for two historical events that happened centuries apart – the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union in 1939, and the beginning of the slaves’ uprising in Santo Domingo in 1791 (Haitian Revolution). The European and international remembrance agendas on that day thus provide an opportunity to address the complex and multidimensional nature of collective historical memory.
The concept of “collective memory” is a cornerstone of the House of European History. The museum is therefore bringing together scholars working on the history and public memory of both totalitarianism and colonialism within and outside Europe to debate:
- How can distinct and even diverging memories interact productively, embracing a variety of experiences and perspectives on Europe’s past?
- How can public discussions on history and memory contribute to more equity, avoiding competition and helping to address tensions emerging from present political and social circumstances?
Join us for this new edition of our Debating History series, watch the debate live on the House of European History YouTube channel and take part in the Q&A session at the end of the discussion. Please register at this link.
- Dr. Simina Badica, House of European History, Belgium
Simina Bădică is curator for the House of European History in Bruxelles. Between 2006 and 2017 she was curator, researcher and then Head of Ethnological Archives at the Romanian Peasant Museum in Bucharest. Since 2015, she has been teaching museum studies at the National School for Political and Administrative Studies (SNSPA) in Bucharest.
She holds a PhD in History from Central European University, Budapest on curating Communism in post-war and post-communist museums. She has published articles on the memory and memorialisation of communism, the representation of communist regimes in museums and everyday life in 1980s Romania from an oral history perspective.
- Dr. Ruramisai Charumbira, University of Bern, Switzerland
Ruramisai Charumbira is a poet-historian; the author of Imagining a Nation, articles in peer-reviewed journals, and chapters in peer-reviewed edited volumes, including a recent one in Women Warriors, National Heroes. She is Associate Senior Fellow at the Walter Benjamin Kolleg (WBK), University of Bern; and founder of THoR-Taking the Humanities on the Road with colleagues at the WBK. Her long-overdue book on European immigrants, migrants, and colonial settlers becoming white people in Southern Africa will be out in 2021. Her new research is a return to themes that propelled her work two decades ago, human’s ancestral memory of nature and vice versa.
- Prof. Michael Rothberg, University of California, Los Angeles, United States
Michael Rothberg is the 1939 Society Samuel Goetz Chair in Holocaust Studies and Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Los Angeles. His latest book is The Implicated Subject: Beyond Victims and Perpetrators (2019), published by Stanford University Press in their “Cultural Memory in the Present” series. Previous books include Multidirectional Memory: Remembering the Holocaust in the Age of Decolonization (2009), Traumatic Realism: The Demands of Holocaust Representation (2000), and, co-edited with Neil Levi, The Holocaust: Theoretical Readings (2003). With Yasemin Yildiz, he is currently completing Inheritance Trouble: Migrant Archives of Holocaust Remembrance for Fordham University Press.
PD Dr. Markus J. Prutsch, European Parliament, Belgium, & Heidelberg University, Germany
Markus J. Prutsch, born in 1981 (Wagna, Austria), is senior researcher and administrator at the European Parliament, associate professor of modern and contemporary history at Heidelberg University, and a fellow of the Global Young Academy as well as the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities.
After having studied history and political science in Austria and Germany, he was researcher at the European University Institute (Florence, Italy), where he received his Ph.D. in 2009, specializing in 19th century political history and theory. Between 2009 and 2012, he was a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Helsinki within the international research project Europe 1815-1914, funded by the European Research Council.