Conference 6-8 December - Memories of Colonial Pasts: Perspectives on a Global Phenomenon of the Present Time

6-8 December 2022

Over the last few decades, memory issues have multiplied across the world. From the Holocaust to Latin American dictatorships, from genocides to colonization and slavery, from world wars to decolonization, different moments in history have been the subject of debates, and have prompted new practices and reflections concerning remembrance, anamnesis and forgetting, within a phenomenon of “globalization of memory”. In each case, a specific memory is turned into a public matter through which different actors seek the recognition of their claims in order to turn them into memory policies. This form of memory has become a key value for contemporary democracies.

While it is relevant to question the phenomenon of memory in its global dimension, it is also interesting to understand how the different mobilizations and politics of memory have circulated between different spaces and historical contexts. Moreover, studies have shown that there is not a single memorial matrix, but “multidirectional” influences between different memories in a national or transnational context. The entangled memories of the Holocaust, decolonization and post-slavery is an example, the study of which has also challenged the common notion of “competitive memories”.

The aim of this conference is to question the specificity of memories linked to various colonial pasts in different contexts. It also intends to understand the social and political processes behind these memory constructions, to identify the vectors and the entrepreneurs of memory, while focusing on the “memory regimes”, that is, on the mechanisms intended to establish the meaning of the past in the social space.

Please see conference website for programme, Zoom joining link and more information: