Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A., March 28-30, 2018, organized by the Council for European Studies
Wednesday, March 28, 2018: 11:00 AM-12:45 PM
Due to changing geopolitics and borders, several European cities have pasts connected to more than one nation or state. The earlier periods have left traces in these city environments, especially in the architecture. City environments are full of buildings, places and spaces that contain memories. Inside these locales of memory, objects or places can become places of remembrance with special meaning for the inhabitants of the city.
The former owners and residents of the city may still have strong bonds to their previous residence, to its history and its places. They can cherish their cityscape as it was formerly in their memories. The concept ‘post-memory’ describes a situation in which collective memories are passed on to generations who have no personal experience of certain events or places.
These cities are the objects of at least two collective memories: of those who live in them today and of those (or their ancestors) who once lived in them. These different interpretations, however, always consider how the past is used in the present. The leading question of this session is to analyse the presentations and uses of history focussing on both the contents and practices of how a society and individuals deal with their collective memories about city spaces.
The relevance of the proposed session lies in the lively recent discussion among historians about ‘sites of memory’, about ‘history politics’ and the ‘uses of history’. Our comprehension about the past is an important part of the way we understand the present.
Chair: Peter Haslinger
Discussant: Peter Haslinger