Project Workshop! January 2018

Disrupted Histories, Recovered Pasts
research workshop

26-27 Jan 2018, Bath Spa University, Bath, UK.

History, is after all, a storying. (Gayatry Spivak)

The project Disrupted Histories, Recovered Pasts / Histories Perturbées, Passés Retrouvés proposes a cross-disciplinary analysis and cross-case synthesis of experience and memory in post-conflict and postcolonial contexts. The project revolves around case-research, conducted from disciplinary bases in anthropology and history, to explore relationships between oral histories and amateur histories with more formal written archives and historiography in a series of disrupted settings (evictions in colonial and apartheid west Namibia; memories and historical interpretations of the Egyptian Jewish diaspora; children’s evacuation in wartime France; recent maritime exodus of migrants from Africa; and rupture from a hegemonic imperial-nostalgic narrative in Portugal).

In the postconflict and colonial contexts of our cases, ‘disruption’ is present in three senses: as the productive ways in which multiple experiences retrieved through oral histories may refract and revise historical analysis; as the happening histories of objectively disruptive events break the flow of individual and collective experience; and as a strategy for cross-disciplinary research to disrupt and democratise conventional understanding by drawing attention to occluded experiences. ‘Recovery’ is also polysemic, invoking retrieval of past experiences, and the possibility for enhanced well-being, through voicing memories that may have been suppressed and attending to mismatches between public discourse about displaced groups and individual experience.

In this focused one-day research workshop (on 27th January), preceded on 26th January by a public keynote lecture by sociologist of public memory, Professor Marie-Claire Lavabre, we seek to share some of our preliminary case research and to juxtapose this research with similar analyses conducted by scholars beyond our project. We are reaching towards systematic cross-case learning, engagement, synthesis and theorisation of our case research, as well as possible communication of our research via a special journal issue.

For more background to our project see our first working paper:

Sullivan, S., Baussant, M., Dodd, L., Otele, O, and/et Dos Santos, I.
2017 Disrupted Histories, Recovered Pasts:  A Cross-Disciplinary Analysis and Cross-Case Synthesis of  Oral Histories and History in Post-Conflict and Postcolonial Contexts | Histoires Perturbées, Passés Retrouvés : Analyse et Synthèse Croisée d’Histoires Orales et d’Histoire dans des Contextes Post-Conflit et Post-coloniaux. Disrupted Histories, Recovered Pasts Working Paper 1, Bath ISBN: 978-1-911126-06-5.

26th January
Public Keynote Lecture on The Politics of Memory,
y Marie-Claire Lavabre, Director of Research at Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Paris.

When: 5-7pm, Friday 26th January 2018
Where: Commons CM.107, Newton Park Campus, Bath Spa University, BA2 9BN, UK.

More information here.

27th January

Project Research Workshop

When: 9.00 – 18.30, Saturday 27th January 2018
Where: Commons CM.119, Newton Park Campus, Bath Spa University, BA2 9BN, UK.

[Workshop spaces are limited – if you are interested in participating in the workshop please email Sian Sullivan]

Draft programme
(Follow links for full abstracts and participant information and workshop logistics)

9.00 – 9.30       Registration and coffee

9.30 – 11.00    Intro & housekeeping, led by Sian Sullivan, and Panel 1

Broken Lives, Silenced Memories: reappropriations of the past among the Jews of Egypt and Islamic Countries
Michèle Baussant (Principal Investigator), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique et Université Paris Nanterre

Disrupted Histories, Re-negotiated Past: the Current Reconstruction of the Departure of the Jews of Egypt between 1948 and 1967
Liat Alon (Ben Gurion University)

Panel Chair – Richard White, Senior Lecturer in Media Practice, Bath Spa University

11.00 – 11.30   Coffee

11.30 – 1.15     Panel 2

Disrupting memory, recovering history; or, the delicate balance between life and evidence
Lindsey Dodd (Co-Investigator), University of Huddersfield, Department of History

Beneath the surface of the waterways
Jodie Matthews, University of Huddersfield, Department of English Literature

Sound and (hi)story in Damara / Nūkhoen pasts, from Basel to west Namibia
Sian Sullivan (Principal Investigator and Project Coordinator), Bath Spa University, Research Centre for Environmental Humanities, UK, and Welhemina Suro Ganuses, Save the Rhino Trust, Namibia

Panel Chair – Sandra Kemp, Director of the Ruskin Library and Research Centre,  University of Lancaster

13.15 – 14.00   lunch

14.00 – 15.30   Panel 3

Moving up North: Disrupted Histories of the Black Mediterranean Olivette Otele (Co-Investigator), Bath Spa University, Field of Culture and Environment (History)

Oral testimonies, ‘lost’ histories & re-thinking Muslim migrant communities in post-war Britain: a rural case study
Sarah Hackett, Bath Spa University, Field of Culture and Environment (History)

Panel Chair – Benjamin Neimark, Lecturer in Human Geography and Political Ecology at the Lancaster Environment Centre

15.30 – 16.00   tea

16.00 – 17.30   Panel 4

Between silenced memories, meaningless heritage and broken traditions? Post-war population transfer from Istria, ex-Yugoslavia
Katja Hrobat Virloget, Head of Institute for Intercultural Studies University of Primorska, Slovenia, Faculty of Humanities

Encouraging the emergence of different interpretations of Portuguese colonisation for a common post-colonial future (title tbc)
Irène dos Santos (Co-Investigator), Centre National de la Recheche Scientifique et Université Paris Diderot

Panel Chair – Mike Hannis, Senior Lecturer in Environmental Humanities (Ethics and Sustainability), Research Centre for Environmental Humanities, Bath Spa University

17.30 – 18.30    Plenary – building towards a synthesis paper from case research, discussion led by Michèle Baussant.

Bus to Bath (at 18.40 and 19.10)

19.30 – Workshop Dinner at Green Park Brasserie

A joint UK-France research project documenting historical experiences of disruption and recovery in post-conflict and post-colonial contexts | Un projet de recherche Franco-Britannique qui explore des expériences historiques perturbées et retrouvées dans des contextes post-conflits et postcoloniaux

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