(Beeldbank West-Vlaanderen Toen)
The last few decades, the concept of ‘collective memory’ was successful among historians working from a constructivist perspective, thoroughly influenced by the cultural turn. The focus was on the way memories were forged through stories, monuments and other cultural artifacts, that came to serve as lieux de mémoire within specific collectivities, especially nations. This conference opts for a more dynamic view of the creation and transmission of memories. It focuses on the ways in which memories were recurred to and used in the everyday discourses and practices of groups at a local level. Not the straightforward creation of master narratives about the group’s own past will be the main concern, but the way in which these groups combined diverse, sometimes even conflicting memories. Doing so, the organizers hope fully to re-inscribe the concept of memory into the field of social history.