Why a New Research Network?



I hope the network we are trying to create through this website will facilitate collaboration across disciplines, and connect scholars working in different parts of the world.

To get the conversation going, I would like to share with you a few thoughts that have motivated me to help set up a research network:

First, issues of historical justice and social memory have mostly been explored by means of national and local case studies. Our knowledge about the relationship between historical justice and social memory is largely cumulative: that is, it is little more than the grand total of our understanding of numerous individual cases.

Second, there has been too little cross-fertilisation. Scholars writing about, say, historical justice and memory in France, have been blissfully unaware of work done on related issues in, say, Peru.

Third, an understanding of how the postwar Germany and the international community have dealt with the legacy of the Holocaust has tended to inform research done on other cases. Too often it has been taken for granted that the efforts to respond to the Holocaust ought to have the same paradigmatic status as the Holocaust itself.

Fourth, too little of the research about issues of historical justice and memory has been genuinely interdisciplinary.

Greetings from Melbourne!

Klaus Neumann

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