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This research group aims to develop an interdisciplinary methodological framework for the study of intergenerational narratives of conflict and trauma within heritage and memory studies.

Description of the research group

The remembrance of historic events and conflicts is a dynamic practice that changes from one generation to the other. Post memories are both multidirectional and competitive. The overall aim of this research group is to develop an interdisciplinary methodological framework for the study of intergenerational narratives of conflict and trauma within heritage and memory studies. This framework seeks to determine how post memories contribute to the interpretations of traumatic events, their roles in providing new resources for political identity and cultural agency, and finally their engagement with their respective “Others” and what such an engagement can reveal about contemporary identity politics. Moreover, memories of conflict are complex and often entangled with intimate, domestic and familiar spaces of everyday life while post-memories have been used to define a processes of affirming self-identity and legitimising actions and goals of the present. More recently, scholars have sought to queer the heteronormative parameters of  post-memory by highlighting the memories of individuals who do not have parental ties to events of conflict, but whose childhoods or adolescences were nonetheless impacted by these traumatic events. This expanded model of post-memory has enabled innovative methods of critique, new communal solidarities, imaginings of new futures, as well as shaping civil society and local politics. This research group aims to develop an interdisciplinary conceptual framework for understanding how intergenerational memory of conflict connects with struggles over (legal) recognition, new forms of state violence and contemporary identity politics in the present.

The group is collaborates with European funded projects such as the Horizon 2020 project “SPEME - Questioning Traumatic Heritage: Spaces of Memory in Europe, Argentina, Colombia” which develops a joint program of exchanges between academic researchers-working on memory, trauma and heritage-and non-academic professionals-working in the fields of memory museums and sites of memory-between Italy, The Netherlands, Argentina and Colombia.

Envisaged results 

PhD dissertations, edited volumes, peer reviewed articles & book chapters, workshops and expert meetings. 

Societal relevance

The modes of cultural recall of historic conflicts, particularly those of second and third generations are situated in a twilight zone between history and fiction. This research group explores how current acts of recall move beyond political stalemate in different societies by rethinking “national identity”. In their compulsion to process histories of trauma and memory, post memories reveal shifts of identity construction from rivalry in victimhood and catastrophe to cultural agency and political activism. These shifts point to new possibilities for understanding how the politics of conflict, coexistence and reconciliations are played out between past and future generations in conflict zones all over the world.

Research Group Type: Network & Project group
Duration: 2021-2025

Group Coordinator

Prof. dr. I.A.M. (Ihab) Saloul

Faculty of Humanities

Algemene Cultuurwetenschappen

Members of the research group

Prof. Jan Willem van Henten
Prof. R. v.d. Laarse (UvA)
Dr. S.F. Kruizinga (UvA)
Dr. R.W.H. Glitz (UvA)
Dr. David Duindam (UvA)
Florence Evans (PhD Candidate, UvA)
Reka Deim (PhD Candidate, UvA)
Sarike van Slooten (PhD Candidate, UvA)

External members

Prof. Patrizia Violi (Bologna University)
A. Shibli (Artist) 
Prof. A.R. Krakotskin (Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin) 
Dr. E. Ben Zeev (Ruppin Academic Center, Jerusalem) 
Prof. H. Hever (Hebrew University Jerusalem)
Prof. M. Rothberg (University of California) 
Prof. M. Yazbak (Haifa University) 
Prof. R. Kanaaneh (Columbia University) 
Dr. R. Salih (SOAS, UK) 
Prof. Lizel Tornay (University of Buenos Aires, Argentina)
Alejandra Naftal (Museo Sitio de Memoria ESMA)
Prof. Pardo Neyla (UNAL, Colombia)
Dr. Alia Younis (NYUAD)
Dr. Mario Panico (Bologna University)

Institutional or professional partners