“How to Document the Present: Oral History and Memory of the War”
Date: 23-27 January, 2023
University of Insubria – Centre for Research on Minorities and University of New Europe (UNE)
The Winter School is organized with the financial support of the Leibniz Centre for Contemporary History Potsdam.
Participants of the Winter School:
Academics (e.g. PhD students, postdocs, lecturers) and non-academics interested in oral history and memory research (e.g. journalists, NGO workers), students enrolled in MA programmes.
About the Winter School
Memories of war and violence occupy a special place in our societies. They inspire moral imperatives aiming to prevent future atrocities and to demonstrate the importance of sustaining peace. However, memories of past conflicts can also incite hate and be used to justify violence. The ongoing Russian-Ukrainian war, framed by the Kremlin as the continuation of the WWII-time crusade against Nazism, provides a tragic opportunity to engage not only with the (ab)uses of memory but also with the immediate experience of living through and witnessing a war.
The ambiguous role of memory in the context of armed conflicts raises multiple questions, relevant both for the academic community and the civil society: How do individuals and societies in Europe and worldwide remember wars and violence? What are the differences in war-related memory practices across societies and how are they affected by the rise of digital technologies? What methodological and conceptual approaches can be used to study war memories and their societal functions, including the ones associated with the present conflicts such as the Russian war against Ukraine?
To address these questions, the Winter School “How to Document the Present: Oral History and Memory of the War” will bring together a cohort of esteemed scholars specialising in research dealing with the complex interrelations between memory, violence, and war. A unique transdisciplinary environment will provide students with possibilities to learn different conceptual stances on memory and war, but also to get familiar with a broad range of methodological approaches to study them, ranging from classic qualitative approaches (e.g., close reading or content analysis) to novel computational approaches (e.g., topic modelling and algorithm audit).
In addition to learning the state-of-the-art theoretical and methodological approaches for studying the interrelationship between oral history, memory, and war, participants will engage with the latest research on the memories of violence and war in the context of Ukraine. For this aim, the school will bring together a group of Ukrainian and Western scholars who will discuss their oral history projects with the School’s participants. Besides providing unique education experience and networking opportunities for students, such engagement will facilitate critical reflection and dialogue which are core principles of the University of New Europe (UNE).
The school will consist of five days of lectures, methodological seminars, and group-based research exercises. These educational activities will be clustered together in five thematic components constituting the basis of the programme. The description of the components is provided below and also includes selected examples of classes to be taught within different components:
- Introduction to the research on cultural memory and oral history of war and violence;
- Oral history and cultural memory of war across disciplines;
- Oral history and cultural memory of war in the digital age;
- Oral history and cultural memory of war and violence in Ukraine;
- Oral history and cultural memory research practice
More about the program you find at the UNE Website here
Jan Claas Behrends (Viadrina University / ZZF / UNE), Alexander Etkind (CEU / UNE), Dina Gusejnova (LSE / UNE), Andrea Peto (CEU / UNE), Ellen Rutten (University of Amsterdam), Philipp Schmaedeke (University of Applied Sciences), Mykola Makhortykh (University of Bern / UNE), Daniele Brigadoi Cologna (University of Insubria), Paola Bocale (University of Insubria), Aleksandra Urman (University of Zurich), Luciano Mecacci (Academia Europaea).
S. Abbondio campus of the University of Insubria
Via S. Abbondio 12, Como (Italy)
Kontakt und Anmeldung
Registration for participation in the Winter School is closed.
University of New Europe (UNE)
communications [at] neweurope.university