In our second meeting and first workshop, we began to explore how best to link our projects for Remembrance Day 2018. We identified and discussed points of common interest across our different projects and developed a series of shared themes, captured in our second position paper here. This work will help us draw together findings across our different empirical contexts, and take best advantage of the group’s interdisciplinary and international character. We also heard from three new members, detailed below.
Commemorating the First World War in Denmark
Denmark has a highly complex relationship with the First World War and its centenary, being a non-combatant nation, but with a significant area within the present-day boundaries lying within what 100 years ago was ‘Germany’. The ‘Danish’ context provides a distinct and exciting prospect to explore how activities of commemoration operate with both spatial and temporal ambiguity across a complexity of changing boundaries and scales of allegiance (from community to nation). Thus, this project will explore how notions of national and communal identity intersect with various activities and experiences of (local and individual) remembrance and memorialisation at the occasion of the Centenary of the Armistice in November 2018.
David C. Harvey is an Associate Professor in Critical Heritage Studies at Aarhus Universitet, Denmark, and an Honorary Professor of Historical Cultural Geography at the University of Exeter (UK). His work has focussed on the geographies of heritage, and he has contributed to some key heritage debates, including processual understandings of heritage, extending the temporal depth of heritage, the outlining of heritage-landscape and heritage-climate change relations and the opening up of hidden memories through oral history. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
The role of emotions in remembering past events
This presentation considers ‘flashbulb memories’ and their application to the commemoration of the First World War. It discusses these along two lines of inquiry. First, what do people remember after attending commemorations such as 11 November 2018, and how does attending help to connect them with past events (and to which topics in particular)? And second, what is the role of emotion in their abilities to recall the commemorations and to access past events of WWI or of any other related past event?
Olivier Luminet is research director at the Belgian Fund for Scientific Research (FRS-FNRS), full professor in psychology at the Université catholique de Louvain (UCL) and associate professor at the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) in Belgium. He also did long research/education stays at the University of Toulouse (France), Manchester (UK) and Toronto (Canada).
Changing attitudes: representations of the First World War in documentaries and video games
In 2018, I intend to conduct two studies on new ways of commemorating via documentaries and video games. In line with my studies on the visit of museum exhibitions, I want to investigate the effects of specific documentaries and video games about WWI on the social representations of the Great War and pacifist attitudes. In order to understand which mechanisms could be responsible for attitudes and representations changes, I’ll focus especially on emotions and character identification.
Pierre Bouchat is a researcher in psychology and invited lecturer at the Free University of Brussels and at the Catholic University of Louvain (Louvain-la-Neuve) where he teaches social psychology and methodology. He works in several interdisciplinary teams on memory-related topics. His current researches focus the role of the collective memory of conflicts on intergroup attitudes and relations. More specifically, he studies at the European level WWI-related memories and their impact on pacifist attitudes. Pierre is also interested in memory dynamics in
Belgium and their impact in terms of intergroup relations, ideology and political evolution. A final aspect of his research concerns the study of commemorations of traumatic events and their impact on psychosocial variables.