This workshop is to continue the dialogue between theoretical and empirical investigations of „European Memory?“. Starting point for the first workshop in July 2011 was a critique of an unreflected instrumentalisation of ‘European Memory’ in current public and academic discourse. In order to respond to this tendency, these workshops develop an approach that accentuates the polyphony and multilayeredness of memory.
Rather than understanding ‘European Memory’ as a normative ideal or an empirical concept for days of remembrance, museums or schoolbooks, this approach perceives ‘European Memory’ as a discursive reality of which academic discourse is an integral part. It manifests itself whenever actors pick up ‘Europe’ in their interpretations of the past. Given that the indication ‘as European’ is merely one of the many attributes of this self-description, the workshop enquires into the entanglements of memory in present and past that are linked with these interpretations.
The workshop prepares the publication of the results of this intensive interdisciplinary exchange. Central for the upcoming workshop is the examination of case studies which should allow drawing a link to the theoretical explorations and a meta-comparison, in order to determine the semantics of the ‘European’ in acts of memory.