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RNW Theory of History meeting: paper by Berber Bevernage (UGent), 14 October 2022, Utrecht

Claiming the people’s past’. Populist Engagements with the Past and the Challenges to Historical Thinking
Berber Bevernage (Ghent University)

The past couple of years, populism has received extensive scholarly attention. It has also repeatedly been remarked that populists often appeal to the past to legitimize their political claims. Remarkably, however, few studies systematically analyze these populist engagements with the past. The talk presents the main findings of a forthcoming collective book that provides such an analysis from an international comparative perspective. The question will be raised whether certain common features and functions can be identified in the uses of history by populist leaders and movements that would allow us to speak about a particular ‘populist historicity’ – meaning a specific populist relationship to the past or mode(s) of being in history. We focus on four levels: ontological, epistemic, ethical, and aesthetic.

Moderator: Dr Robbert-Jan Adriaansen (EUR)

Huizinga Institute Research School
14 October 2022
15:00-17:00 hrs
Location: Utrecht University, Van Ravesteynzaal (1.06), Kromme Nieuwegracht 80, Utrecht.

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