How individuals cope with the memory of traumatic large-scale events (such as wars, famines, pandemics, natural or industrial disasters) has long been of great interest to social sciences such as psychology, psychotraumatology or sociology. But how are the memory and reality of dramatic past events experienced and worked through at a collective level. Why do many narratives concerning these past phenomena still divide European societies?
These are the questions participants of the 13th edition of the Genealogies of Memory conference entitled Pandemics, famines and industrial disasters of the 20th and 21st centuries will focus on. The conference aims at drawing attention to the discourses of memory and non-remembrance of large-scale natural and human induced disasters in 20th and 21st-century Europe.
The conference will consist of nine panels, a roundtable discussion Between Trauma, Memory and Forgetting – Nuclear, Environmental and Human-Induced Disasters in the 20th and 21st centuries, and two keynote lectures delivered by leading experts: Prof. Dora Vargha (University of Exeter and Humboldt University of Berlin), who will speak about evolving narratives on current and past epidemics, and Prof. Marguérite Corporaal (Radboud University) with a contribution on heritages of hunger.