Friday, November 30, 2012

Conference at Columbia: "Local Memory, Global Ethics, Justice"

The Alliance for Historical Dialogue and Accountability (AHDA), part of the Institute for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University is holding a four-day conference from Dec. 11-14, 2012 entitled "Local Memory, Global Ethics, Justice: The Politics of Historical Dialogue in Contemporary Society."  The website for the conference (including registration, which is free) is here and the full schedule, which includes a wide variety of interesting topics, is here.  From the conference announcement:
Historical dialogue and accountability is a growing field of advocacy and scholarship that encompasses the efforts in conflict, post-conflict, and post-dictatorial societies to come to terms with their pasts. In contesting nationalist myths and identities; in examining official historical narratives; and in opening them to competing narratives, historical dialogue seeks to provide analysis of past violence grounded in empirical research; to acknowledge the victims of past violence and human rights abuses; to challenge and deconstruct national, religious, or ethnic memories of heroism and/or victimhood; to foster shared work between interlocutors of two or more sides of a conflict; to identify and monitor how history is misused to divide society and perpetuate conflict; and to enhance public discussion about the past.
This conference seeks to consider related questions, in addition to discussing the state of the relatively new field of historical dialogue and its relationship to other discourses such as transitional justice, memory studies, oral history, historical redress and religious studies. We will address the possibilities and limits of these concepts and methods, searching for unexplored connections and elaborating upon how historical analysis can be used to resolve long-standing sectarian conflicts. 
I will be on a panel on the first day called "Sequestered History, Public History" and will be giving a presentation called "Captured Documents, Sequestered History and Displaced Memory."