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Huizinga Summer School 2021: ‘Cultural Histories of Reconciliation: Narratives, Representations, Practices’

This three-day summer school offers cultural-historical perspectives on the topic of interpersonal reconciliation. Our main focus will be on how cultures have imagined and put into practice the idea of reconciliation: what cultural narratives they have devised to understand the ways in which people and societies resolve conflict, and how these translate into practices of reconciliation. Examples are representations of reconciliation in literature and art, but we are also interested in legal, political and theological discourses of reconciliation, as well as in ritual practices of reconciliation. We are interested in reconciliation as a global phenomenon, and in the reconciliation paradigms encountered in various different cultural settings, especially for the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.


We will examine reconciliation in a variety of cultural-historical contexts, from classical antiquity to the present day, and across a range of geographical settings. We are interested in reconciliation in the intimate, domestic spheres (between partners or family members, for example), but also in political contexts, for example in relation to civil conflicts from the past (such as the Dutch Revolt or the American Civil War) or in more recent instances of transitional justice (with the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission as the best known example). Indeed, the dividing lines between intimate and political reconciliation are blurry.


During the summer school, participants will work on their own research project, which they will present during an interactive research seminar on the final day. The summer school is preceded by an introductory session, during which the participants will get to know each other a little bit and during which we will introduce some of the core cultural-historical and political debates on reconciliation. During the introductory session, the participants will also briefly explain on what primary source they intend to focus for their research project.


Dates: Introductory meeting on 2 June 2021, summer school from 21-23 & 25 June 2021. The complete programme will be made available soon.


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