Memory studies and the Identity problem: an international panel to encompass Canadian and European experiences
EUNIC in Canada launched its activities with an international panel on: Memory Studies and the Identity problem: a Cross Reading of European and Canadian Cultural Traditions, held on Tuesday 7 September at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto.
The debate featured four experts on the subject: Profs. Julia Creet, Shelley Hornstein and Andreas Kitzmann from York University, and Prof. Elena Lamberti from the University of Bologna. They explored how, in an age of global migrations after twentieth-century wars, does cultural memory strengthen or undermine social and political cohesion.
The points of departure for this panel were two books: Memories and Representations of War: The Case of World War I and World War II, edited by Elena Lamberti and Vita Fortunati, (New York/Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2009); and Memory and Migration--Multidisciplinary Approaches to Memory Studies, edited by Julia Creet and Andreas Kitzmann, (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, forthcoming Sept. 2010). Both collections of essays explore the complex cultural identity/ies of Canada and the European Union and the bonds between the two political entities through individual, institutional and artistic expressions of cultural memory.
Elena Lamberti spoke about the importance of reconciliation to the transnational memory of the European Union, Julia Creet addressed the need to reconceptualize cultural memory given the displacements and mobility of people in the twentieth century and Andreas Kitzmann presented a specific case study on the expulsion of ethnic Germans after the Second World War. Prof Shelley Hornstein acted as moderator.
Sonja Griegoschewski, director of Goethe-Institut in Toronto and interim representative of the Canada cluster of EUNIC, greeted the audience at the beginning and outlined the role of the newly established Canada cluster of EUNIC.
The event was organized by the Italian Cultural Institute in collaboration with the European Union Centre of Excellence (EUCE) at the Centre for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies, University of Toronto, the University of Bologna, the Canadian Centre for German and European Studies at York University.