Symposium 'Rhetoric of the Past': Programme Announced!

On September 22, Laurie Slegtenhorst and Tina van der Vlies, two members of the Center for Historical Culture, will organize the Symposium 'Rhetoric of the Past.' (click here for the flyer). As of this week, the preliminiary programme for the symposium has been announced. An overview can be found below.

For the symposium, the organizers welcome
prof.dr. Michael Rothberg (University of Illinois; photo), who is the author of the bookMultidirectional Memory: Remembering the Holocaust in the Age of Decolonization. This book highlights how ongoing processes of
decolonization and movements for civil rights in
the Caribbean, Africa, Europe, the United States,
and elsewhere have unexpectedly galvanized memory of the Holocaust.

How and why do people re-appropriate rhetoric from the past in present contexts?

In 2014, the Dutch producer Bakermat released his pop song ‘One Day’ in which he incorporated the famous words ‘I have a dream’ of Martin Luther King. His song became a hit in several European countries. Another example is the re-appropriation of the 1989 slogan ‘Wir sind das Volk’ during the recent Pegida demonstrations in Dresden.

The rhetorical use of the past can articulate a certain identity and influence historical consciousness. Especially now, in times of cultural diversity, it is important to gain more insight. How and why do people use references to the past? How can we analyse these practices in text and images? And how do people respond as consumers to these practices?

Practical Information

Keynote speaker: Professor Michael Rothberg (University of Illinois)

Time: 13.00-17.30
Location: Tesselschadezaal Huygens ING (fifth floor, Royal Library), The Hague
Organisers: Laurie Slegtenhorst and Tina van der Vlies
Funded by: KNHG – Erfgoed Nederland – Centre for Historical Culture

Preliminary programme:

13.00: Welcome and introduction by Tina van der Vlies

13.15: Keynote Prof. Michael Rothberg, about recent work in relation to analysing the ‘rhetoric of the past’.
Moderator Prof. Ismee Tames

13.45: First reaction by Dr Berber Bevernage

14.00: Discussion

14.30: Coffee Break

15.00: Session I – Rhetoric of the Past: Narratives and Mnemonic Structures.
Moderator Prof. Kees Ribbens

  • Sanne Parlevliet: Is that us? Identification and alienation in historical fiction for children
  • Tina van der Vlies: “What we have done once, we can do again!” Resonating narratives in history textbooks

16.00: Coffee Break

16.30: Session II – Media, Remediation and Cultural Education
Moderator Prof. Franciska de Jong

  • Dr Dagmar Brunow: Remediating archival content
  • Laurie Slegtenhorst: World War II remediated in cultural education

17.30: Closure by Laurie Slegtenhorst


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