Historical Dialogues, Justice and Memory Network Seminars

NEW! Historical Dialogues, Justice and Memory Network
Live Seminar Series

SEMINAR #2 Title: “Reflecting on the Value of Participatory Research: Voice, Empowerment and Pathways to Impact”
Date: December 14, 2021, 12:00-13:00 PM, EDT time (UTC-5:00)
Participants: Professor Patricia Lundy, Professor of Sociology, Institute for Research in Social Sciences, Ulster University
Zoom registration link: click here


This talk critically explores the value and role of participatory/ activist research and how it can be used as a ‘tool’ to create pathways to historical justice. It draws on two empirical research projects. The first is a community-based ‘truth’ recovery project – the Ardoyne Commemoration Project. This is a bottom-up transitional justice project that addressed legacies of the conflict in one community in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The second is the survivor-driven Panel of Experts on Redress. The Panel spear-headed a redress campaign for survivors of historical institutional child abuse.  The paper argues that power remains out of the hands of survivors and those tra­ditionally marginalized in society. The question this talk addresses is: what is the role of activist scholarship in challenging and/or rectifying this power imbalance? While conscious of the danger in over-eulogising activist research, it shows that spaces can be created to enable survivors to mobilise more effectively to challenge power and bring about social change. It examines how, and to what effect, participatory/ activist research facilitated voice, empowered, challenged powerful institutions, and created pathways to justice. If implemented rigorously, this type of research approach has transformative potential.


Patricia Lundy is Professor of Sociology at Ulster University. Her research has focused on post-conflict transformation, mechanisms for dealing with the legacy of conflict, ‘truth’ recovery and the politics of memory. She has researched both community-based ‘truth’ recovery processes and official police-led historical conflict-related inquiries. Her in-depth study of the Police Service Northern Ireland’s, Historical Enquiries Team has been widely regarded as changing the landscape in dealing with the past in NI. Her most recent work has focused on historic institutional child abuse, the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIA) and redress. She is committed to bottom-up participatory approaches and a desire to ensure that survivors needs drive the form of past-focused mechanisms. Patricia is recipient of a Leverhulme Trust Major Research Fellowship and British Academy Senior Research Fellowship. Her work has been published in a wide range of peer-reviewed academic journals including Sociology, Victims and Offenders, Law and SocietyInternational Journal of Transitional Justice and Contemporary Social Science. She has collaborated with victims/survivors to co-create policy relevant reports designed to assist redress campaigns. She is committed to linking academia to the wider community and strives to make her research impact positively on beneficiaries.

SEMINAR #1 “Trends in Political Apologies Across the World: Insight from the Political Apologies Database
Date: October 12, 12:00-1:00 PM, EDT time
Participants: Juliette Schaafsma, Ph.D. (Tilburg University) and Marieke Zoodsma (Ph.D. candidate, Tilburg University)
Recording will be uploaded here:

The Past Can’t Heal Us (Cambridge UP, 2020) by Lea David
Recording accessible here: https://medialibrary.colgate.edu/hapi/v1/contents/permalinks/e4SPn35E/view

Online Seminar Series
Beginning in 2021, the Historical Dialogues, Justice and Memory Network will host a live and interactive online seminar series. Conducted through Zoom, these hour-long seminars enable researchers and authors to present new and developing work to a global audience. Seminars are free and open to anyone and include a 25 minute discussion period.

The Dialogues invites prospective presenters to contact a member of the Organising Committee. If you are interested in presenting a seminar, please send an abstract (or the paper/book or other work from which the seminar will draw) to one of the seminar organisers along with a CV or short bio. Please note that presentations should be within the Dialogues’ broad ambit.

If you want to receive notifications for future online seminars, join the Dialogues’ biweekly newsletter at dialogues@columbia.edu.

Online Seminar Organisation Committee:

Alexander Karn, email: akarn@colgate.edu | Bio

Ariella Lang, email: al223@columbia.edu |Bio

Stephen Winter, email: s.winter@auckland.ac.nz | Bio