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Regimes of Memory, Patterns of Consolidation. Comparative Issues. – Academia Europaea Regimes of Memory, Patterns of Consolidation. Comparative Issues. – Academia Europaea
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Regimes of Memory, Patterns of Consolidation. Comparative Issues.

Regimes of Memory, Patterns of Consolidation. Comparative Issues.


Regimes of Memory
From Ireland, Belgium and the Baltics through Ukraine, Poland and Hungary to Spain, Italy and Greece most European political cultures dominated by various grievances, fears and pursuits of amends as consequences of unprocessed historical traumas. Competing regimes of memory are manifest in different interpretations of symbolic dates, places and traditions. In Hungary they include the conflicting narratives of the regime change, the varying interpretations of 1956, the competing memories of 1944 and 1945, the Shoa, and, the liberation and the occupation. The varying experiences, fears and offences of the different experience of communities of 1989-90, 1956, 1945 and 1944 include the various interpretations of the dissolutions of the Habsburg Monarchy and the historical Hungary connected to the 1918-19 revolutions and the 1919 counter-revolution. Their clashing memories include the differences between the interpretations of the Ausgleich and 1848–1849 by the communities in favor of different traditions. Driven by the incessant compulsion to reinterpret, all these bear the divisive experiences and repetitive compulsions of historical traumas piled upon the other, undigested, suppressed, fossilized, yet as painful as ever and calling for amends. The current Grand Narratives has two main types: progress vs. fatherland, adopting Europeanness vs. national egoism. Leftists see themselves as modernizers as opposed to reactionaries, their enemies. Consequently, they proclaim to be committed to controlled modernization, their exclusiveness rests on the lack of alternatives, and see their policy as the only salutary option. Their public discourse applies the language of the adoption of the European model. By contrast, the antithesis of nation vs. traitors sums up the images of the self and the enemy of the political right. Rightist public discourse, the language of national self-centeredness, bases itself on the decisive role of will to carry out the “unavoidable” change of unjust relations, and, claims a nation-based state redistribution, new regime change, and, moral revival. Its interpretation of history, traceable to ethnic political language and interpretations, holds that foreign rule (various occupiers) not only shifted the country’s point of gravity abroad, but replaced its ruling stratum, intellectual elite and middle class. This led to an internal counter-selection: to the fetishization of the power relations, to waiting out and to self-destruction.

The objectives of the project are identifying, analyzing and contextualizing the current regimes of memory in Europe, their competing victimologies, different political languages, ceremonies, rituals, symbolic times and spaces, images of the self and the inner alterity, their audiences, followers and their different damnosae hereditates, political hysterias and their powder-keg, unprocessed traumatic historical experiences. Putting them in comparative and interdisciplinary European context can help in overwriting and surpassing them as far as trauma management, mediation and making democratic political community are concerned.

Its interpretative framework and methodology are mainly connected to politics of identity and politics of memory. The innovation of the project is based on the concepts of trauma and regime of memory. Coming from psychology, the concept of trauma has been successfully applied in social psychology and the sociology of law. In the historical analysis, therefore, a traumatic event or process engenders a discourse of grievance (transmitted through the media, literature, popular culture, and so on). Representatives of such discourse see themselves as victims. Their discourse permeates organizations, influences political life, and elicits institutional responses. Should a trauma not develop into a full-fledged discourse, it may still enter the realm of collective memory patterns or even the national Grand Narratives, be passed on to future generations and may be opened up to reinterpretation. The conditions under which a past event or process is reinterpreted as a traumatic inheritance can also be studied empirically, as can the social awareness obtained by it. The political languages and narratives of such experiences have been held together by elite-generated identity models, by images of preceding conflict, interpretations of the recent past, of the self and the inner alterity and the blueprints of memory. They have been the building blocks for turning divided societies and fractured political cultures into one democratic, pluralist political community. The historical traumas of the communities may lead to a fluid or “vacuum” situation a non-democratic “consolidation”, a fall back to personal power, even political hysteria if the assessment of the situation is wrong and bad aims are chosen.

The different interpretations and reinterpretations, selections and taboos, of historical tradition tend to divide themselves into establishment and alternative types. The ways regimes seek to homogenize the fractured and often contradictory elements of their political cultures draw separate, sometimes opposite blueprints informed by disastrous historical experiences. Their frozen pasts appear embodied in real and symbolic spaces, the very structures and centers of cities, monuments, sacred places. Alternative pasts end up being rekindled in collective rituals and processions influencing and often poisoning personal consciousness, individual and collective life strategies and, also inter- and cross-generational contacts and transfers. Regimes of memory are institutionalized ways of setting and managing the supply and demand of remembrance in historical contexts. The concept points beyond the more usual ‘politics of memory’ insofar as it implies a governance of the issues relating to the past in modern societies; on the one hand, discourse on the past is produced by the state, its institutions and various other organizations (clubs, associations, and so on), leaders of opposition parties, opinion makers and other informal networks of communication; on the other hand, memory patterns also produce social identities demanding public recognition. A regime of memory is the way both ends are met, both in the political and cultural sense. A regime of memory usually makes room for different, sometimes incoherent, even contradictory discourses on the past. Policies on their side may oscillate from celebrating traumatic events as victories of a part of the community over the other, to sending into oblivion certain historical processes. A regime of memory deals with how the past is managed in the present. Understanding, identifying, contextualizing and putting them into comparative context is an inevitable precondition for transcending the competing regimes of memory.


Institutional Organisers
Academia Europaea
Academia Europaea
 was founded in 1988 as an international, non-governmental and not-for-profit association of individual scientists and scholars. The Academy is pan-European, with elected members drawn from the entire European continent. Our elite membership is currently approaching 3000 individually invited scholars,  who cover the natural sciences, humanities and letters. Members are drawn from 35 European countries and eight non-European countries. Members are grouped into 20 Academic Sections.  Academia Europaea:

  • organises workshops, conferences and study groups,
  • publishes the European Review and other academic materials,
  • provides expert advice on European Science policy matters either alone and/or through the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC)
  • promotes and values a wide appreciation of European scholarship and research,
  • makes recommendations to national governments and international agencies concerning matters affecting science, scholarship and academic life in Europe,
  • encourages interdisciplinary and international research in all areas of study,
  • identifies topics of trans-European importance in science and scholarship, and proposes appropriate action to ensure that these issues are adequately researched and studied.

Academia Europaea Knowledge Hub
Academia Europaea Knowledge Hub-Wrocław
, with the support of the Mayor and the City of Wrocław, was established on December 2011. The main aims of the Hub are to provide high-level academic activities (like open conferences and visiting lectures) and to strengthen European relationships between academic communities.In 2013, a number of wide scope high-quality international activities are planned. These include: in co-operation with the Institute of Political Sciences: Summer School on Democracy. How old and new democracies cope with the economic crisis, thanks to the Riksbankens Jubileumsfond: Early Modern Print Culture in Central Europe Seminar, and development of students: internships, and visiting lectures.

Regional Office on International Relations
Regional Office on International Relations in Wroclaw (in Polish: Regionalny Ośrodek Debaty Międzynarodowej we Wrocławiu): the main goal of the office is to promote knowledge on international relations and Polish foreign policy. It was established by Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and College of Eastern Europe in June 2013. Since then the Office organizes open conferences, lectures and workshops for students and pupils.

Willy Brandt Center for German and European Studies
Willy Brandt Center (WBZ) for German and European Studies was founded in 2002 as an interfacultative and interdisciplinary institution. The WBZ belongs to the worldwide network of institutions that are supported by the DAAD.

The WBZ has the following three major tasks: academic research, didactic tasks and services. First research projects dealt with problems of European integration and with German-Polish relations in Europe. Another field of research is the city of Wroclaw and the region of Lower Silesia in the transformation process after 1989. The findings were published in several publishing series. The WBZ has established a well-functioning network at home and abroad. It helped to develop new fields of study. The interdisciplinary PhD seminar for example is a great success and meets universial approval.

In 2009 the WBZ underwent an reorganization in order to further specialize the fields of research. High-level academic research in German and European Studies is the most important field of work. Furthermore the WBZ sets itself the goal to support young academics and qualify them for executive jobs in economics, public administration and politics.

The spirit of peace and cooperation, understanding and integration, characterizing the views and history of the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and former German Chancellor, Willy Brandt shall guide our work and philosophy.

University of Wrocław
University of Wrocław
is on of the oldest universites in Central and Eastern Europe. It`s rooks go back to 1702. Founded by Leopold I Habsburg the university evolved from a modest school run by Jesuits into one of the biggest academic institutions in Poland. At the beginning of the 19th century the university had five Faculties: philosophy, catholic theology, evangelical theology, law and medicine. Later it was expanded by numerous sections, laboratories and a natural museum, which exists until today.After the Second World War a group of Polish professors, formerly from Lvov, started teaching and research activities at the University of Wrocław. Initially they created the Faculties of law and administration, arts, natural sciences, agriculture, veterinary, medicine, mathematics, physics and chemistry. Some of these Faculties were soon transformed into other universities.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, the University of Wrocław produced 9 Nobel Prize winners, such as Theodor Mommsen, Philipp Lenard, Eduard Buchner, Paul Ehrlich, Fritz Haber, Friedrich Bergius, Erwin Schrödinger, Otto Stern and Max Born.

Today the University of Wrocław is the largest university in the region and teaches over 40,000 students and around 1300 doctoral students at 10 Faculties. 9000 students graduate from the University every year.


Regimes of Memory, Patterns of Consolidation. Comparative Issues.
In spite of major breakthroughs, especially in Germany and the Franco-German reconciliation, we find all over Europe that the experiences and humiliations of previous generations have remained mainly unspoken and unelaborated at both individual and community levels. Dangerous as they are, such narratives and undigested traumas necessarily call for well-advised, learned and thoughtful acts of overwriting and reworking. However, for all the important contributions that the social and political         sciences have  already made in the field of trauma management – particularly in social anthropology, social psychology, sociology of law, studies in peace and security, past in space, regimes of memory, identity discourses, and nationalism studies – serious historical research has usually tended to focus only on single cases, or a few, cities, regions, states, or countries in given periods. A broadly based, well-founded, historical, multi- and interdisciplinary research project for the comparison of the various modes of trauma management in the different countries and regions of Europe can open up new perspectives and provide essential tools for working out individual and collective traumatic historical experiences. This project aims to broadenthe historical and geographical scope, and refine the methodological analysis of present and historical traumas in Europe. Its main question is how different communities were able to process their collective traumatic historical experiences, and what can be learned from the outcomes and dynamics of these processes. Programme:Welcoming introduction by Lars WalløePresident of the Academia EuropaeaSession 1: Moderator of the session - Iván Zoltán Dénes 09:00-09:20 Dutch courage? Changes in the historical self-perception of the Netherlands. Pieter Emmer 09:20-09:40 Interpreting Regimes of Memory in Poland from East Central European Comparative Approach. Cases and Contexts. Maciej Janowski 09:40-10:00 The past in Belgium: different memories and controversial history in a divided society? Chantal Kesteloot 10:10-10:30 The memory of fascism in post-war Italy. Alessandro Cavalli 10:30-10:50 Discussion 10:50-11:00 Coffee break Session 2: Moderator of the session - Iván Zoltán Dénes 11:00-11:20 Interpreting Regimes of Memory in Spain: Cases and Consequences. Salvador Orti-Camallonga 11:20-11:40 Polish Model of Transformation. Ryszard Herbut 11:40-12:20 Discussion 12:20-13:30 Lunch Session 3: Moderator of the session - Pieter Emmer 13:30-13:50 Reinterpreting the Regimes of Memory in the Context of the Different Political Languages in Hungary. Iván Zoltán Dénes 13:50-14:10 Rivaling Regimes of Memory and Patterns of Consolidation in the Urban Space of Lemberg/Lwów/Lvov/Lviv. A Case Study. Tamás Sajó 14:10-14:20 Coffee-break 14:20- 14:40 The Post-1989 Revival of the National Characterology in Roumania, Hungary and Bulgaria. Balázs Trencsényi 14:40-15:00 Reinterpreting the Regimes of Memories in Finland: Subjects, Events, Narratives. Árpád Welker 15:00-16:20 Discussion 16:20-16:30 Coffee break  Session 4 16:30-17:30 Round-table discussion on the Regimes of Memory by all the participants of the conference. Moderator: Iván Zoltán Dénes 17:30-18:00 The floor is open for the audience. Questions and Answers 18:00-18:10 Coffee break. 18:10-18:25 Suggestions and Ideas. Pieter Emmer 18:25-18:40 Conclusion. Iván Zoltán Dénes

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