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Anthropology Speakers' Series

Memories of Wars and Wars on Memories: Cultural Heritage of Exclusion and Extermination


Speaker: Marek Jasinski | Professor, NTNU Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Department of Historical Studies
Filmed: Friday, October 14, 2016 | 3:00 pm

This presentation explores a few research projects addressing Painful Heritage of modern times conflicts – WWII, Civil War in Poland, and the present waves of migrations to Europe and USA. According to Harold Pinter “The past is what you remember, imagine you remember, convince yourself you remember, or pretend to remember”. James Young states that “Social memory is never pure – it always has an agenda”.  According to Noam Chomsky one of the most important mechanisms in creating social/collective memory is “Manufacturing of Consent”, i.e. “History Engineering”. Dynamic interactions between past events and social memory are particularly significant regarding memories of painful and shameful events like wars, genocide, and mass killings. Such research often requires an interdisciplinary approach that includes archaeology of contemporary past, biological anthropology, genetics, and history. Results of interdisciplinary research on this topic often challenge existing hegemonic narratives and politics of memory in addressing painful past or present.