PhD defence L. (Lise) Zurné

Performing Contested Pasts: An ethnography of historical re-enactments of war and revolution
Prof.dr. M.C.R. Grever
Prof.dr. S.L. Reijnders
Dr. R.J. Adriaansen
Wednesday 13 Dec 2023, 13:00 - 14:30
PhD defence
Senate Hall
Erasmus Building
Campus Woudestein
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L. Zurné will defend her PhD dissertation on Wednesday, 13 December 2023, entitled: ’Performing Contested Pasts: An ethnography of historical re-enactments of war and revolution‘.

Below is a brief summary about the dissertation:

Over the past decades, historical re-enactment as hobby has grown exponentially as an increasing number of practitioners recreating battles, encampments, and military training to approximate the experience of past war and revolution. Through dress, roleplay and the reproduction of material
culture, history is ‘brought to life.’ Yet, little is known about the social and cultural dynamics of these performances, particularly when re-enacting contested pasts that incite social divisions or trigger emotional responses. This dissertation aims to fill that gap by analysing historical re-enactments of World War II in Europe and the War of Independence in Indonesia. Drawing upon extensive ethnographic research, it examines how re-enactors negotiate notions of nationhood, gender roles in combat, and embodied experiences of war and hardship. In doing so, this dissertation demonstrates how histories of war and revolution are commemorated and appropriated beyond the walls of a museum or classroom. In contrast to some static modes of historical representation, historical re-enactment is dynamic, ongoing, and involves a continuous negotiation of what history is and how it should be remembered. The findings demonstrate the various ways in which re-enactors contest dominant historical discourses within their hobby, thereby generating new meanings and perspectives on both the present and past.

More information

The public defence will begin exactly at 13.00 hrs. The doors will be closed once the public defence starts, latecomers may be able to watch on the screen outside. There is no possibility of entrance during the first part of the ceremony. Due to the solemn nature of the ceremony, we recommend that you do not take children under the age of 6 to the first part of the ceremony.

A live stream link has been provided to the candidate.

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The symposium Sacred Grounds and Embodied Histories: Engaging with War Heritage through Place and Performance will take place on December 13th, 10:00.
War reenactors

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