Collective Memory

A masters-level course, “Collective Memory: A Shared Historical Narrative in Reconciliation?” was introduced in the spring semester 2015, in collaboration between the IHJR and the University of Leiden. The course is a standing part of the  university curriculum.  The course addresses numerous issues central to the IHJR mission:  What role does historical reconciliation play in transitional justice processes? How and when have demands for historical justice been addressed?  How, and with what influences, does the pursuit of justice, in a variety of forms, impact the construction of shared narratives and collective memory?

The course was developed under the auspices of Dr. Alanna O’Malley, university lecturer in international relations, with the cooperation of  then IHJR executive director Catherine Cisse van den Muijsenbergh and Ties Schelfhout,  IHJR interim executive director.

The course drew extensively on IHJR project work and publications, including:

  • Political Myths in the Former Yugolaslvia and Successor States:  A Shared Narrative, edited by Darko Garilovic and Vjekoslav Perica;
  • Two Sides of a Coin: Independence and Nakba 1948, co-authored by Adel Manna and Motti Golani;
  • Zoom In: Palestinian Refugees of 1948, Remembrances, compiled by a research team led by Sami Adwan.

The IHJR also helped develop a “moot court” exercise. The format of the historical justice moot court followed, in a general sense, that of traditional moot courts organized in the field of law. The goal of the moot court is to test the ability of students to use their acquired knowledge in the course on issues involving historical justice, transitional justice and reconciliation.

“Collective Memory: A Shared Historical Narrative in Reconciliation?” is again being offered in 2017.

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