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Local Memory, Global Ethics, Justice: The Politics of Historical Dialogue in Contemporary Society

Tuesday, December 11, 2012 - 9:00am - Friday, December 14, 2012 - 6:00pm
Columbia University Morningside Campus International Affairs Building 4th floor (rooms: 402B, 409 and 418, unless otherwise indicated)

Historical dialogue and accountability is a growing field of advocacy and scholarship that encompasses the efforts in conflict, post-conflict, and post-dictatorial societies to come to terms with their pasts. Historical dialogue seeks to provide analysis of past violence grounded in empirical research; to acknowledge the victims of past violence and human rights abuses; to challenge and deconstruct national, religious, or ethnic memories of heroism and/or victimhood; to foster shared work between interlocutors of two or more sides of a conflict; to identify and monitor how history is misused to divide society and perpetuate conflict; and to enhance public discussion about the past.

This conference seeks to consider related questions, in addition to discussing the state of the relatively new field of historical dialogue and its relationship to other discourses such as transitional justice, memory studies, oral history, historical redress and religious studies. We will address the possibilities and limits of these concepts and methods, searching for unexplored connections and elaborating upon how historical analysis can be used to resolve long-standing sectarian conflicts. An internationally diverse group of presenters will participate in panels covering a wide range of regional and thematic topics, including:

Local Memory, Global Relations: China, Japan, Korea

Visual Representation and Exhibits as Historical Dialogue

Teaching Controversy: Pedagogy and Contested Histories The

Historian in Dialogue

Event Sponsors: Institute for the Study of Human Rights, The Alliance for Historical Dialogue and Accountability, The Guantanamo Public Memory Project, The Human Rights Institute, Columbia University Seminars, Institute for Religion, Culture and Public Life, The Heyman Center for the Humanities