Education PYPA 2010


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Hierarchy and canonization of memory

Course: Memory and its role in conflict and conflict transformationLecturer: Orli Fridman Hierarchy and Canonization of Memory: Adaptation of Historiography to Socio-political Identity Construction Course participant: Jasmina Gavrankapetanović-Redžić, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina In...

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The Role of Justice in Reconciliation in Bosnia…

Maruša Rosulnik Ljubljana, August 2008 Introduction An end of a conflict is a beginning of a new path leading to peace and reconciliation. One of the means employed on the road...

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Memory and its role in Conflict and Conflict Transformation

Course Instructor: Orli Fridman, SIT Study Abroad (Balkans) and MA program in Conflict Studies, Singidunum University (Belgrade)

This course will explore the role and contribution of Social Memory Studies to the study of Conflict Analysis and Conflict Transformation.  The way societies collectively remember and forget is central to the understanding of dynamics of conflict.  The way entire communities (and not just individuals) preserve and remember the past, commemorate it, or deny and obliterate it, can deepen our understanding of societies in conflict and even more so, of conflict transformation and its practices.


This course will therefore focus on such processes and on the ways they influence dynamics of conflict.  The structure of the course will allow students to a) further explore the link between the analysis of conflicts and the study of memory; b) examine and discuss the academic and political debates regarding collective memories and narratives of the past (with focus in case studies of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict and the conflicts in the post-Yugoslav spaces); and c) examine the links between theory and practice, by looking at a number of educational and social groups and their work around memory and denial, in attempts to transform conflicts and promote justice in their societies.


The course will offer a comparative perspective of conflict studies. It will first examine literature about Conflict Transformation and about collective memory, its formation as well as obliteration;  focusing on themes such as commemorative rituals of mnemonic communities, calendars and the social organization of national memory and others.  It will then analyze the role of memory in a number of case studies of societies in conflict and/or post-conflict (topics may include: debates over the memory and narratives of 1948 in Israel/Palestine; the Second Intifada: narratives and future memories; debates over the memory of Srebrenica in Serbia). And last, the course will examine projects aiming at combat denial, or at offering new approaches to the shared pasts and memories in the societies discussed.

Theoretical literature, and texts related to the case studies, will inform and support our class discussions. Additionally, we will watch a number of films that will enhance our understanding of the study of dynamics of memory and the case studies explored. Last, we will look at and analyze resources and information available on line, regarding groups engaged in the practice of conflict transformation (as related to memory) and materials they produce.

Selected Readings and Films:

  • Eviatar Zerubavel.  Time Maps: Collective Memory and the Social Shape of the Past. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2003.
  • Jeffrey Olick (ed.) States of Memory: Continuities, Conflicts, and Transformations in National Retrospection, Durham: Duke University, 2003.
  • Jeffrey Olick. The Politics of Regret: On Collective Memory and Historical Responsibility. New York: Routledge, 2007.
  • Stanley, Cohen.  States of Denial: Knowing about Atrocities and Suffering. Cambridge: Polity Press and Blackwell Publishers. 2001.
  • Films: Izkor: Slaves to Memory by Eyal Sivan (1991); My Land Zion by Yulie Cohen (2004)
  • Sources: Zochrot toolkit ‘teaching the Nakba in Hebrew'; Breaking the Silence (Shovrim Shtika);