Historical Justice and Memory Research Network News


The Historical Justice and Memory Research Network News appeared fortnightly between February 2011 and January 2013. In February 2013, the Historical Justice and Memory Research Network became part of the Dialogues on Historical Justice and Memory, and the Dialogues newsletter replaced the HJMRN News.

This was their website, originally hosted by The Swinburne Institute for Social Research, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne.
Content is from the site's 2013 archived pages offering just a glimpse of what this site offered its visitors.


Welcome to the Historical Justice and Memory Research Network

Since December 2010, the Historical Justice and Memory Research Network has offered a platform for researchers and activists working on issues of  historical justice and social and public memory. This website has provided information and resources to encourage innovative interdisciplinary, transnational and comparative research. It has been housed at The Swinburne Institute for Social Research, Melbourne.

From 14 to 17 February 2012, the Swinburne Institute hosted the Network’s first Historical Justice and Memory conference.

In February 2013, the Historical Justice and Memory Research Network will be superseded by the Dialogues on Historical Justice and Memory, a joint initiative of the Swinburne Institute and of Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights. Once the Dialogues website goes live, the Historical Justice and Memory Research Network’s website will no longer be updated.



The Historical Justice and Memory Research Network brings together scholars and activists concerned with issues of historical justice and memory. This website provides information and resources to encourage interdisciplinary and comparative research on issues relating to memory, memorialisation and historicisation, and historical and transitional justice. The Network is housed at The Swinburne Institute for Social Research in Melbourne, Australia.

Over the past twenty-five years, studies of how injustice has been remembered and forgotten have largely occurred within the bounds of specific academic disciplines and national or local histories. This website is to facilitate interdisciplinary, transnational and comparative cross-fertilisation.

This website:

  • provides a platform for researchers to publish working papers and receive feedback
  • provides a forum for announcing opportunities for collaboration, fellowships, scholarships and conferences on issues of historical justice and memory
  • draws attention to recent relevant scholarship from across the world
  • publishes reviews of books and exhibitions, and conference reports
  • provides a directory of researchers
  • profiles relevant websites

The success of this site relies on input from its members. We encourage members to send in working papers, bibliographic details about recent publications, information on new opportunities in this field and other related information.

To become a member of the Historical Justice and Memory Research Network and receive the Network’s newsletter, simply send an email stating your name, institutional affiliation and research interests to historicaljustice@swin.edu.au.

Please also send any comments or contributions to: historicaljustice@swin.edu.au.

This website was developed by Bobby Benedicto,  Lisandro Claudio, Katharine McGregor and Klaus Neumann. Its development has been funded by the Swinburne Institute and by the Australian Research Council through a Discovery grant (project code: DP0877630). It is being maintained by Klaus Neumann and Sonja Dechian.



This page is no longer updated. To find out about relevant conferences, please consult the Dialogues on Historical Justice and Memory website.

Forthcoming  conferences and symposiums for 2013

March 2013

Digital Memories
5th Global Conference
13-15 March 2013: Lisbon, Portugal
This inter- and multi-disciplinary conference aims to examine, explore and critically engage with the issues and implications created by the massive exploitation of digital technologies for inter-human communication and examine how online users form, archive and de-/code their memories in cybermedia environments, and how the systems used for production influence the way the users perceive and work with the memory. In particular the conference will encourage equally theoretical and practical debates which surround the cultural contexts of memory co-/production, re-/mediation, en-/decoding, dissemination, personal/mass interpretation and preservation.
More info: http://www.inter-disciplinary.net/critical-issues/cyber/digital-memories/details/

Trauma: Theory and Practice
19-22 March 2013: Lisbon, Portugal
This inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary conference seeks to examine and explore issues surrounding individual and collective trauma, both in terms of practice, theory and lived reality. Trauma studies has emerged from its foundation in psychoanalysis to be a dominant methodology for understanding contemporary events and our reactions to them. Critics have argued that we live in a ‘culture of trauma.’ Repeated images of suffering and death form our collective and/or cultural unconscious. The third global conference seeks papers on a variety of issues related to trauma including: the function of memory, memorial, and testimony; collective and cultural perspectives; the impact of time; and the management of personal and political traumas.
More info: http://www.inter-disciplinary.net/at-the-interface/evil/trauma/details/

Workshop 7: Truth Recovery for Missing Persons in Times of Transition
Mediterranean Programme: 14th Mediterranean Research Meeting
20-23 March 2013: Mersin, Turkey
A growing number of recently democratized countries are attempting to address their violent past, creating an urgent need to understand how to transform human rights issues into building blocks of reconciliation. Despite the fact that human rights have taken centre stage in the agenda of international politics, little empirical evidence has been provided to trace the precise relationship between dealing with human rights violations of the ancien régime and the prospects of peaceful democratic transition. And although enforced disappearances as a result of political violence have become an endemic feature of contemporary conflict globally, the study of the phenomenon and its relationship to transitional justice has not received much attention.
The workshop highlights the importance of comparing experiences of enforced disappearances in post-conflict and post-authoritarian settings to guide academic research and assist policy-makers dealing with similar problems.
The workshop aims to make an innovative contribution to the limited knowledge on the complex relationship between truth recovery for missing persons and peaceful democratic transitions. The primary objective of the workshop is to understand how to transform protracted human rights problems into stepping stones of reconciliation in times of transition. It also intends to elucidate the interplay between individual justice and social/political necessities of reconciliation. Participants are encouraged to submit proposals that would engage with the political, legal, social, psychological and anthropological dimensions related to truth recovery.
More info: http://www.eui.eu/DepartmentsAndCentres/RobertSchumanCentre/Research/InternationalTransnationalRelations/MediterraneanProgramme/MRM/MRM2013/ws07.aspx

Memory Revisited. The Holocaust in European Art and Popular Culture in the New Millennium
21-23 March 2013: Hugo Valentin Centre at Uppsala University, Sweden
Art and popular culture have played a crucial role in raising global awareness of the genocide of the European Jews, and have contributed to the development of a cosmopolitan memory of the historical event. In the past two decades, these media have prompted many public discussions about the future of Holocaust representation and have inevitably posed important questions about the transmission of its memory to future generations. Dealing with the question of how younger generations in Europe envisage their roles as vicarious inheritors of the Holocaust, this conference offers an opportunity to discuss artistic and pop-cultural engagements with the topic of Holocaust memorialisation, during the 1990s and the 2000s.The aim of this conference is to reach a deeper understanding on why references to the Holocaust in the visual arts and in popular culture continue to appear, what form they take, and what they can tell us about the relevance of Holocaust memory in contemporary European societies.
For more information, please contact the conference organisers: Tanja Schult and Diana Popescu

April 2013

International Workshop China: The Politics of Memory and World War II,
April 3-5, 2013: University of Hong Kong
The Department of History and the Journalism and Media Studies Centre of the University of Hong Kong are co-sponsoring an international workshop on China, the Politics of Memory, and World War II.

April 3-5, 2013 Der juedische Widerstand gegen die NS-Vernichtungspolitik in Europa 1933-1945 / The Jewish resistance to the Nazi policy of extermination in Europe 1933-1945
7-9 April 2013: Berlin
This conference will reflect the different conditions, facets and forms of Jewish resistance and activities during the period of Nazi rule, occupation and extermination policies.
For more information, please contact: Prof. Dr. Julius H. Schoeps

Understanding Hatred, Confronting Intolerance, Eliminating Inequality
The Pursuit of Justice Conference
18-20 April 2013: Spokane, WA, United States of America
This conference seeks to understand and address fear and ignorance of the other and explore how these conditions manifest in hatred, intolerance, and inequality. The conversation centres on how these problems affect the pursuit of justice.
More info: http://www.gonzaga.edu/pursuitofjustice

Inspired: I attended this conference which brought together the leading interdisciplinary academic forum on hate and directly related social problems with the combined social justice leadership of the Gonzaga Law School and the Washington Task Force on Race and the Criminal Justice System. The pairing provided opportunities to align interests in understanding and addressing fear and ignorance of the “other” with interests in how these conditions manifest in hatred, intolerance, and inequality. Conversations were centered around how these problems affect the pursuit of justice.

The conference brought together and engaged members of academia and other education circles, the legal community, government, and non-governmental organizations, as well as policy experts, journalists, human rights leaders, community organizers, and engaged global citizens. I also became aware of the massive exploitation of the digital technologies taking place in our everyday lives, often to our benefit. Here's a great example: I networked with several attendees and five years later we still correspond, exchanging ideas that were generated at the conference. It was also at this conference I learned about a unique collection of vintage Raquel Welch magazine covers. I'm a loyal fan of this iconic actress and her timeless style. At dinner one night, a group of us were discussing how challenging it is to find vintage magazine covers, especially when you don't live in a metropolitan area or at least within easy driving distance from a specialty store or collector's shop. I happen to live at least half the year in a remote area in northern Maine. I love the solitude and the natural beauty. The one indulgence I have is a powerful satellite dish and robust internet. I need the internet for my work. It's at least an hour and a half to the closest store that offers such vintage collections. However, one of the attendees told me about an e-commerce site where you can browse and purchase a plethora of vintage magazine covers, including those featuring Raquel Welch. You can explore, select, and buy—all over the internet with the items mailed to you. I'm exploiting digital technologies for sure. It only takes about a half hour to get to our small town with the post office attached to the grocery/hardware store—if the roads are clear. In the summer, I get to town by boat. Inspired by the conference topics, I can see how both my boat and my vintage magazine covers are important and specific memories that have already entered the digital realm. Just me writing this on this website did that.

What a great conference. But some of the networking and idea exchanges outside of the conference were just as helpful.

Sixth International Conference on the Inclusive Museum
22-24 April 2013: National Art Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen
Now in its sixth year, the Museum Conference is a place where museum practitioners, researchers, thinkers and teachers can engage in discussion on the historic character and future shape of the museum. The key question of the conference is ‘How can the institution of the museum become more inclusive?’
For more details, please visit: http://onmuseums.com/the-conference/

May 2013

Aftershock. Post-Traumatic Cultures since the Great War
22 – 24 May 2013: Copenhagen, Denmark
This cross-disciplinary conference focusses on genres of post-traumatic stress as identified and studied in military and civilian psychology, social and cultural history, film studies as well as literary and art criticism. Post-trauma’s elusive, psycho-social, inter-relational complexity requires such an interdisciplinary approach to place the after-effects of recent conflicts, for instance in Iraq and Afghanistan, within the complex narratives of war-related stress from 1914 onwards. Body, mind and emotion inflected by time and locality should be explored together with the interconnected histories of individual (combat) and collective (civilian) aftershock.

June 2013

Digital Testimonies on War and Trauma
12-14 June, 2013: Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
To mark the completion of the video-life stories project Croatian Memories (CroMe) the Erasmus Studio for e-research (www.eur.nl/erasmusstudio)is generating a collection of video interviews with testimonies on war-related experiences in Croatia’s past. As each interview is processed, transcribed, translated and subtitled in English, the project reaches out to both a local general and an international academic audience. Accordingly the interviews will be made accessible in two ways: in edited form on an online platform for the general public, and in their original form in a separate password-protected environment for researchers.
The conference aims to bring together scholars involved in the creation of oral sources, for both individual research and archival purposes, with the intent to discuss the potential use and impact of digitized collections of narratives related to war and trauma, across disciplinary and national boundaries. Because of the specific context in which the CroMe project has been conducted, special attention will be given to research based on oral sources in the region of the former Yugoslavia, and on new insights with regard to creating and opening up digital oral history archives.

Unofficial Histories
15-16 June 2013; Manchester, UK
A public conference to discuss how society produces, presents, and consumes history beyond official and elite versions of the past.We now invite presentation proposals for the meeting on Saturday 15th June 2013 to be held at Manchester Metropolitan University.
Taking its cue from the assumption that history is, as Raphael Samuel put it, “a social form of knowledge; the work, in any given instance of a thousand different hands”, the conference aims to open up to examination the ways in which historians, curators, writers, journalists, artists, film makers, activists and others, seek to represent the past in the public realm, spheres of popular culture and everyday life.
Please submit abstracts of 250-300 words by Wednesday 20th February 2013 to Fiona Cosson

July 2013

Drei Generationen: Shoa und Nationalsozialismus im Familiengedächtnis
3 – 5 July 2013: Vienna, Austria
Die interdisziplinäre Tagung will sich der Problematik aus unterschiedlichen, historischen, psychologischen, künstlerischen, literarischen etc. Perspektiven nähern. Strategien der Verarbeitung bzw.
Verdrängungsphänomene sowohl auf gesellschaftlicher als auch auf individueller Ebene sollen dabei diskutiert werden. Von besonderem Interesse wird das Familiengedächtnis sein, das durch Kommunikation und Interaktion der einzelnen Familienmitglieder entstanden ist und somit ein dynamisches Konstrukt der Erinnerungsgemeinschaft verschiedener Generationen darstellt. Die Weitergabe der Familiengeschichte erfolgte nicht nur eindimensional von der älteren zur jüngeren Generation, sondern wurde in diesem Prozess der Auseinandersetzung und des intergenerationellen Dialogs von den jüngeren Generationen als Akteurinnen handelnd verarbeitet.
More info: http://hsozkult.geschichte.hu-berlin.de/termine/id=20464

The Future of The Theory and Philosophy of History
10-12 July 2013: Ghent, Belgium
The theory and philosophy of history is an area of research which has a long and well established tradition; the recent growth in the amount of publications and academic journals in this field attests to its continuing vitality. During the past decades the philosophy of history has significantly broadened its scope and blossomed into an array of subdisciplines. What is the balance of the last several decades of historical theory? Are there opportunities that were missed, or questions that remained unposed? Where has this body of literature brought us, and where can we go from here? How have debates in the theory of history developed in different countries around the world? Can we gain an international perspective on the evolution of the field?
We would therefore like to invite scholars from far and near to reflect on the past, present and future of the theory and philosophy of history. We encourage contributions that not only take stock of the insights, questions and dilemmas within the vast literature that has emerged in the last decades, but also indicate possible paths for future investigation. The conference will be held in Ghent (Belgium) on 10, 11 and 12 July 2013 and will be hosted by a new organization called The International Network for Theory of History (INTH). The goal of this network is to unite theorists and philosophers of history from around the world by offering a forum for scholars to contact one another, exchange ideas, and to share their resources as well as their questions. To this end we have also launched a new website www.inth.ugent.be which we hope will facilitate international collaboration

September 2013

The Centre for Culture and Cultural Studies (CCCS) &The Balkan Network for Culture and Culture Studies (BNCCS): Annual Conference 2013: “Cultural Memory”
September 5-6, 2013: Skopje, Republic of Macedonia
The Centre for Culture and Cultural Studies (CCCS) and The Balkan Network for Culture and Culture Studies (BNCCS) will organize the first of many annual conferences, under the overarching theme “Cultural Memory.” The objective of this first conference is to contribute to the study of cultural memory by unlocking narratives about the past (and their canonization), and to offer relevant critical observations on the manifestations of cultural memory that are not essentially ‘narratives’. This approach provides a kind of multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary access to cultural memory taken from various perspectives.
Conference web site: http://www.cultcenter.net/conf2013.php

Historians as Engaged Intellectuals – Historical Writing and Social Criticism
19-21 September 2013: Bochum, Germany

October 2013

New Scholars/New Research on the Holocaust
October 6-7, 2013: University of Toronto
This international academic conference will showcase and consider new Holocaust-related research by new scholars in the field.



La dernière catastrophe: l’histoire, le présent, le contemporain

By Sonja Dechian | Published: February 5, 2013

Elizabeth Rechniewski, of the University of Sydney has reviewed Henry Rousso’s 2012 book, La dernière catastrophe: l’histoire, le présent, le contemporain.

Henry Rousso’s essay offers a wide-ranging reflection on what it means to write the ‘history of the present’ a field which, in recent decades, has moved from the margins of history to its very centre.  His aim is to trace the evolution of the ‘history of the present’– the forms it has taken and the problems it has posed over the centuries, and poses now. In his first chapter Rousso outlines the historiography of the history of the present: he explores what it meant to write this history in classical times, in the Middle Ages, and in the ‘modern’ era – a period which, he notes, is open to uncertain dating. The principal focus of the book, however, is to trace and explain the emergence of a particular form of ‘the history of the present’ from the 1970s on, with  a focus on the French, German, English and American historical fields (although, understandably, the French field receives most attention)…continue reading.


Memory, Politics and Identity: Haunted by History

By Sonja Dechian | Published: February 4, 2013

Aline Sierp, of Maastricht University has reviewed Cillian McGrattan’s 2012 book, Memory, Politics and Identity: Haunted by History:

In his latest book Cillian McGrattan tries to untangle the difficult relationship between memory, history and politics. Focusing on the Northern Irish context, he examines how short  term political compromises, unquestioned narratives of self-justification and self-exculpation  compromise the long-term prospect of a lasting peace. By drawing from transitional justice  and post-colonial theories he tries to map the reproduction of ideas and narratives about  history, providing a new outlook on the residual force that history has on the development of  identity and values in post-conflict societies…continue reading.


Commemorating Hell: The Public Memory of Mittelbau-Dora

By Sonja Dechian | Published: February 3, 2013

Steven Cooke of Deakin University has reviewed Gretchen Schafft and Gerhard  Zeidler’s 2011 book Commemorating Hell: The Public Memory of Mittelbau-Dora:

In disciplines such as Anthropology, History, Sociology, and Geography, work on the aftermath of  genocide has often focused on the politics of memory. That work is frequently place-based, exploring the role of monuments, memorials and landscapes as sites of contestation over visions of the past.  ‘Commemorating Hell’ is a welcome addition to this body of work. It focuses on the Mittlebau-Dora camp and is co-authored by Gretchen Schafft, an Applied Anthropologist in Residence at the American University, and Gerhard Zeidler, a former archivist at Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp  memorial, and details the way in which the memory of the site has changed over time as a Gedenkstätte: ‘a place of remembrance’…continue reading.


Le 17 octobre des Algériens

By Sonja Dechian | Published: January 23, 2013

Elizabeth Rechniewski  of the University of Sydney has reviewed Gilles Manceron’s Le 17 octobre des Algériens Marcel et Paulette Péju. Suivi de La triple occultation d’un massacre:

On October 17, 1961, a demonstration took place in Paris against the curfew imposed on North Africans living in the capital. Over the following hours and days hundreds of peaceful protestors were arrested, beaten and sometimes tortured, and hundreds were killed. It was the most deadly assault by authorities on the Parisian population since the Commune of 1871. And yet for many years this incident was little known and tended to be overshadowed by, or confused with, the events at the Charonne metro in February 1962, when nine – mostly European – protestors were killed by police…continue reading.



War, Guilt, and World Politics after World War II

By Sonja Dechian | Published: January 21, 2013

Elazar Barkan of Columbia University has reviewed Thomas U. Berger’s 2012 book, War, Guilt, and World Politics after World War II:

There is a growing public recognition that history has come to play a central role in international and domestic politics. The reasons for this expanded impact vary and include the spreading of democracy, the centrality of human rights norms, increased regional and global interdependence, and the wide role of international networks of advocates and civil society. In each country the mix is different, but few democracies are immune to or unburdened by their past. Nowhere has this trend been more evident than in the different policies of Germany and Japan since WWII, as the two countries embody different trends of the politics of history, both domestically and internationally. Germany is seen as responsible and contrite, while Japan is viewed as unrepentant. Thomas Berger’s, War, Guilt, and World Politics after World War II, adds Austria to the mix, and compares the history of historical dialogue and accountability in each country. I found the book thorough and informative …continue reading.

Politiques de la Mémoire et Résolution des Conflits

By Sonja Dechian | Published: January 7, 2013

Sally Carlton from the Nepal Institute for Policy Studies has reviewed Jean-Serge Massamba-Makoumbou’s 2012 book, Politiques de la Mémoire et Résolution des Conflits:

Memory, and particularly the interplay between memory and post-conflict politics, has long been a subject of preoccupation among French academics. A refreshing recent addition to this already well-debated field is Jean-Serge Massamba-Makoumbou’s Politiques de la mémoire et résolution des conflits. The book’s primary contribution to the memory debate stems from its temporal focus…continue reading.


Politics and the Art of Commemoration

By Sonja Dechian | Published: January 5, 2013

Natan Sznaider of Israel’s Academic College of Tel-Aviv-Yaffo, has reviewed Katherine Hite’Politics and the Art of Commemoration: Memorials to struggle in Latin America and Spain.

Can art save us where politics has failed? This is an intriguing little book about the possibility of political redemption through art. The author takes us on a journey through Spain, Peru, Chile and Argentina, moving between the representation of politics and the politics of representation to describe the politics of memorials in detail. The book is also a personal journey through those places, written in an engaged voice rarely found in books on politics and commemorations…continue reading.


Enduring Injustice

By Sonja Dechian | Published: November 30, 2012

Olivera Simic of Griffith University has reviewed Jeff Spinner-Halev’s new book, Enduring Injustice:

In his new book Enduring Injustice, Jeff Spinner-Halev draws upon a critical appraisal of liberal political theory to provide a fresh outlook on historical injustices. To this end he examines a variety of cases from around the world, focusing his attention on Israel, India, and the United States, but also taking in, if in a more abbreviated manner, Australia, Canada, Europe and New Zealand. Spinner-Halev argues that while advocates of remedying historical injustices invite communities and individuals to take responsibility for their past, their arguments are ambiguous about whether all past injustices need remedy or just those that concern groups suffering from current injustice…continue reading.


Abusi di memoria: negare, banalizzare, sacralizzare la Shoah.

By Sonja Dechian | Published: November 16, 2012

Daniele Salerno of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Study of Cultural Memory and Traumas, (University of Bologna, Italy) has reviewed Valentina Pisanty’s Abusi di memoria: negare, banalizzare, sacralizzare la Shoah

If we could pinpoint the exact year in which negationism came into the public domain, it would be 1978, the year of both the “Faurrison case” in France and the release of the mini- series Holocaust in the US. According to Valentina Pisanty’s semiotic work Abusi di memoria. Negare, banalizzare, sacralizzare la Shoah, this is neither surprising nor a coincidence: negationism is part of a sort of “narrative competition” for the memory of the Shoah in which the negationists’ very existence, visibility, and access to the mass media depend on the visibility and importance of other competitors (in this case, those who use the memory of the Holocaust for commercial or entertainment purposes). So Holocaust, which marked the entry of memories of the Shoah into global popular culture through its adaptation of entertainment and fictional models, allowed negationists access to the most important and influential newspapers in the world, bringing reaction from politicians and scholars. This suddenly turned negationism from a marginal and almost negligible movement into an academic and political interlocutor…continue reading.



The Memory of Pain: Women’s Testimonies of the Holocaust

By Sonja Dechian | Published: October 24, 2012

Adam Brown of Deakin University has reviewed Camila Loew’s ‘The Memory of Pain: Women’s Testimonies of the Holocaust.’

The work of a number of feminist scholars over the past thirty years has gone some way to ameliorating the general paucity of Holocaust research into the experiences and representations of women; however, certain paths still remain only lightly travelled. Mainstream films from wartime features such as The Mortal Storm (1940) through to Steven Spielberg’s Hollywood blockbuster Schindler’s List (1993) and beyond continue to paint collective memories of the Holocaust with a heavily gendered brush. Even those Holocaust texts that do incorporate women’s experiences often do so by inscribing the event with patriarchal meanings … Well-known authors whose names can be commonly seen on bookshelves and school reading lists include Primo Levi, Elie Wiesel, Jean Améry, Imre Kertész and Tadeusz Borowski. The crucial importance of the work of such figures is undeniable, yet the fact that dominant understandings of Nazi persecution and the ‘camp experience’ pivot on the suffering and resilience of ‘man’ is problematic … continue reading.