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WS: Vjeran Pavlakovic: Transitional Justice and Memory Politics

When Dec 08, 2015
from 01:00 to 05:00
Where Phil I, Haus B, R. 29
Contact Name
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The workshop Transitional Justice and Memory Politics will explore the relationship between transitional justice initiatives in various post-conflict societies and memory politics. In other words, the workshop will discuss what role commemorative practices, symbolic reparations, and efforts at „dealing with the past" have in fostering reconciliation. The participants will have the chance to discuss readings covering this topic and then explore a number of case studies from the former Yugoslavia, Spain, and Latin America.. The workshop will also offer several methodological approaches in how cultural memory studies can be used in understanding the transitional justice process.

Some of the questions the workshop will scrutinize include:

  • Commemorations and commemorative speeches: how can discourse analysis and cognitive linguistics be used to examine the framing of the past for political purposes?
  • Mnemonic actors: which groups or individuals act as memory entrepreneurs in various political and cultural contexts?
  • Memorialization and mobilization of emotions: how do monuments and other symbolic interventions in public space impact people's perceptions of the past?

The workshop will include opportunities for participants to share their own case studies from various backgrounds.

Vjeran Pavlaković is the Head of the Department of Cultural Studies at the University of Rijeka, Croatia. He received his PhD in history from the University in Washington. He has written extensively on the politics of memory, commemorations, war crime tribunals, political symbols, sites of memory, and democratization in the post-Yugoslav space. Before the University of Rijeka, he worked at Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. and had a postdoctoral fellowship of the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research (NCEEER), where he conducted the research „Red Stars, Black Shirts: Symbols, Commemorations, and Contested Histories of the World War Two in Croatia“.

Pavlaković is a member of the project In Search for Transcultural Memory in Europe (ISTME) which aims to go beyond the nationally oriented memory studies that tend to reify the bond between culture, nation and memory, investigating the transcultural dynamics of memory in Europe today. In addition, he is a participant in the drafting of the REKOM (Regional Truth Commission for the former Yugoslavia) Statute.

His recent publications include: The Battle for Spain is Ours: Croatia and the Spanish Civil War 1936-1939 (2014), “Symbols and the Culture of Memory in Republika Srpska Krajina,” Nationalities Papers (2013), and “Fulfilling the Thousand-Year-Old Dream: Strategies of Symbolic Nation-building in Croatia,” in Pal Kolsto, ed., Strategies of Symbolic Nation-building in South Eastern Europe(2014). He co-edited the books Serbia since 1989: Politics and Society under Milosevic and After (2005) published by the University of Washington Press and Confronting the Past: European Experiences (2012).

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