Leading Museums, Museum Leaders

How We Remember War & Violence

Source: University of Bath.

How We Remember War and Violence: Theory and Practice, University of Bath, 2018

Compare three models of remembering, exploring how the new model of ‘agonistic memory’ can help us better understand conflict.

Our memories of conflict are often used against us. Nationalist movements manipulate the story – offering confrontational, harmful perspectives. But there’s a different way.

This course takes a new approach to remembering, ‘agonistic memory’. You’ll explore how it improves upon the other two models of memory – ‘cosmopolitan memory’ and ‘antagonistic memory’, going on to see how agonistic memory can be used in your own work to relate more accurately to the past.

By the end of this course, you’ll understand how the various models are used today – and will have a new way to look at history.

What topics will you cover?

  • What are the different types of memory in Europe today?
  • Theoretical and practical examples of antagonistic and cosmopolitan memory.
  • What is agonistic memory?
  • How has agonistic memory been applied in museums, in education and at sites of mass exhumations?
  • Case studies testing an agonistic mode of remembering: a Spanish theatre performance and museum exhibits in Germany and Northern Ireland.

What will you achieve?
By the end of the course, you’ll be able to:

  • Identify, describe and compare three models of memory – cosmopolitan, antagonistic and agonistic
  • Evaluate and summarise the shortcomings of antagonistic and cosmopolitan memory
  • Reflect on and debate ‘agonistic remembering’
  • Engage with and discuss applications of agonistic memory in different environments
  • Discuss and develop how you might best apply agonistic memory in your own heritage context

Who is the course for?
The course will be of interest to policymakers who are responsible for funding and coordinating commemorative activities. It would also be of interest to civic organisations in the field of memory and commemoration, and museum professionals – including directors, curators, conservators, and educators.

Who will you learn with?

  • Nina Parish
    I’m a Senior Lecturer in French Studies at the University of Bath and researcher on the EU-funded H2020 UNREST project, looking at innovative memory practices in sites of trauma including war museums.
  • David Clarke
    I am a Senior Lecturer at the University of Bath and a researcher on the EU-funded project Unsettling Remembering and Social Cohesion in Transnational Europe (UNREST).
  • Ayshka Sené
    I am a post-doctoral researcher working at the University of Bath as part of the EU-funded Horizon 2020 UNREST team. I’m looking forward to getting your feedback on our findings in this MOOC!

Who developed the course?University of Bath
The University of Bath is one of the UK’s leading universities both in terms of research and our reputation for excellence in teaching, learning and graduate prospects.

For more information or to join the course visit: The University of Bath website.

Council of Australasian Museum Directors, c/o Ms Daryl Karp, Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House PO Box 3934 Manuka, Australian Capital Territory 2603 Australia, © CAMD 2021
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