1. Competing Memories

    4-Day International Conference, 29 October—1 November 2013

    Keizersgrachtkerk (Oct. 29-31) & Herinneringscentrum Kamp Westerbork (Nov. 1

    The conference is jointly organized by the Faculty of Humanities, University of Amsterdam and Faculty of Arts, VU University Amsterdam.

    This interdisciplinary conference addresses the politics of heritage and memory, identity and occupation, European political integration and citizenship as well as the theoretical implications of totalitarianism, terror, trauma, genocide and mass violence. “Competing Memories” critically analyzes how to present competing memories and narratives museums, media, landscapes, urban environments. In addition to the EU’s geopolitical dynamics and clashes of memory about the Holocaust and other terrorscapes, the conference will broaden its focus to relate both the origins and afterlives of Europe’s ‘Age of Extremes’, to the cultural and postcolonial turns (in/against Holocaust studies), Dutch slavery/Indonesia debate, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the Near East Spring revolutions.

    The conference seeks to explore, from a range of comparative approaches and methodologies, how the space-times of memory in Europe and beyond are interpreted, (re)presented, collectively remembered, instrumentalised, or silenced and forgotten. By crossing academic, artistic and professional boundaries, the conference aims to contribute to a better understanding of the extent to which ‘memory discourses’ operate as vehicles of local, national and transnational identity politics.

    The conference program is rich and offers a considerable variety of topics; it features 10 keynote lectures, 54 papers, 4 ongoing art exhibitions and screenings, a special evening program with artists’ panel & students’ debate in Amsterdam, and a discussion on site at Westerbork.


    • Prof. Marianne Hirsch & Prof. Leo Spitzer, Columbia University & Dartmouth College
    • Prof. Patrizia Violi, Bologna University
    •  Dr. Wendy Pullan, Cambridge University
    • Prof. Sarah Farmer, UC Irvine
    •  Prof. Ellen Rutten, University of Amsterdam
    •  Prof. Georgi Verbeeck, Maastricht University & University of Leuven
    • Prof. Yfaat Weiss, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
    •  Prof. Rob van der Laarse, UvA & VU University Amsterdam
    •   Yoram Haimi & Wojciech Mazurek, Yad Vashem & Sub Terra Badania Archeologiczne
    • Dr. Henrik Skov Kristensen, The National Museum of Denmark

    Artists Exhibitions

    • And Europe Will Be Stunned (Yael Bartana)
    • Enduring Srebrenica (Claudia Heinermann)
    • Museutopia (Ilya Rabinovich)
    • Capturing Urban Conflicts: Conflict in Cities and the Contested States (Center for Urban Conflict Research)

    Special Evening Program
    Artists’ Panel & Students’ Debate: Appropriation and Competing Narratives

    Wednesday 30 October 2013 / 20.00-21.30. University Theatre, UvA (Nieuwe Doelenstraat 16-18. 1012 CP Amsterdam)

    Westerbork: Coffee & Discussion on Site
    Ivar Schute, Westerbork Archeological Research Project
    Marcin Urbanek, Lukas Mieszkowski, Piotr Michalewicz, Prize Winning Architects Sobibor Memorial Center 2013

    Conference Locations

    • Oct. 29-31, 2013 (Keizersgracht 566, 1017 EM Amsterdam)
    • Nov. 1, 2013           (Herinneringscentrum Kamp Westerbork, Oosthalen 8. 9414 TG Hooghalen)

    Registration is free and open until Sunday 27th October. Participants will have to pay for lunch (10 EUR per day cash). For more information please contact the organizers (Dr. Ihab Saloul & Prof. Rob van der Laarse) at competingmemories@gmail.com