Skip to 0 minutes and 9 seconds Welcome to this course. I’m Dr David Clarke. And I’m Dr Nina Parish. And we’re your Lead Educators on this MOOC. Every individual has their own memories of the past, and their own understanding of historical events. However, that individual understanding is also shaped by the stories we tell about the past, as families, as communities, and as nations. Those stories can be expressed in all kinds of ways. For example, through museums and monuments, in television and film, or in rituals and festivals. These all look to the past to shape our sense of who we are in the present. Mass violence and wars in the 20th century meant that European societies have had to find ways of leaving these conflicts behind them.
Skip to 0 minutes and 54 seconds Constructing memories was an important way of doing this. Each society managed their national memory differently. Various roles were adopted and assigned, including the victorious and the defeated, the victims and the perpetrators, the guilty and the innocent. One of the ways that Europe sought to overcome division and conflict after the Second World War was through European integration. European societies have experienced a so called memory boom. Politicians, the media, artists, film makers, and authors have also contributed to our fascination with the past. All across Europe, populist and nationalist movements are using the heritage of war and violence to push confrontational notions of collective belonging.
Skip to 1 minute and 41 seconds This course brings together groundbreaking research into memory theory with practical case studies from mass grave exhumations to museum exhibitions, from theatre productions to computer games. In this course, we will try to understand where existing ways of remembering are falling short, how new research is making a difference, and why museum professionals, artists, and civil society activists are key to developing this innovative approach. We will provide you with cutting edge theory and practical tools to help you apply the latest research to your own projects and products. Join us as we question how we remember war and violence in 20th century Europe.