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Historical Memory in Africa: Dealing with the Past, Reaching for the Future in an Intercultural Context

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Volume 12

Making Sense of History

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Historical Memory in Africa

Dealing with the Past, Reaching for the Future in an Intercultural Context

Edited by Mamadou Diawara, Bernard Lategan, and Jörn Rüsen

264 pages, 2 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-84545-652-8 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (June 2010)

ISBN  978-1-78238-083-2 $29.95/£23.95 Pb Published (April 2013)

eISBN 978-1-84545-837-9 eBook

Hb Pb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! $29.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


A vast amount of literature—both scholarly and popular—now exists on the subject of historical memory, but there is remarkably little available that is written from an African perspective. This volume explores the inner dynamics of memory in all its variations, from its most destructive and divisive impact to its remarkable potential to heal and reconcile. It addresses issues on both the conceptual and the pragmatic level and its theoretical observations and reflections are informed by first-hand experiences and comparative reflections from a German, Indian, and Korean perspective. A new insight is the importance of the future dimension of memory and hence the need to develop the ability to ‘remember with the future in mind’. Historical memory in an African context provides a rich kaleidoscope of the diverse experiences and perspectives—and yet there are recurring themes and similar conclusions, connecting it to a global dialogue to which it has much to contribute, but from which it also has much to receive.

Mamadou Diawara received his PhD from École des Hautes Études, Paris and is Professor at the University of Frankfurt/Main. He specializes in anthropology and African history (oral history and the history of development).

Bernard Lategan is the founding Director of the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study. He studied classical languages, linguistics, literary theory, and theology at universities in South Africa, Europe and North America and specializes in hermeneutics, values studies and social transformation.

Jörn Rüsen was President of the Kulturwissenschaftliche Institut in Essen (Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities at Essen) and is now Senior Fellow there and Professor emeritus of History and Historical Culture at the University of Witten-Herdecke.

Subject: History (General) Cultural Studies (General) Memory Studies
Area: Africa


List of Illustrations

Chapter 1. Introduction
Mamadou Diawara, Bernard Lategan and Jörn Rüsen

From an African Perspective

Chapter 2. Social Theory and Making Sense of Africa
Elisio Macamo

Chapter 3. History by Word of Mouth: Linking Past and Present through Oral Memory
Annekie Joubert

Chapter 4. The Historical Memory and Representation of New Nations in Africa
Bogumil Jewsiewicki

Chapter 5. Memory, History and Historiography of Congo-Zaïre
Justin Bisanswa

Chapter 6. Remembering the Past, Reaching for the Future Aspects of African Historical Memory in an International Context
Mamadou Diawara

Chapter 7. Remembering Conflict: The Centenary Commemoration of the South African War of 1899-1902 as a Case Study
Albert Grundlingh

Chapter 8. From Public History to Private Enterprise: The Politics of Memory in the New South Africa
Patrick Harries

Chapter 9. Remembering with the Future in Mind
Bernard Lategan

From an Intercultural Perspective

Chapter 10. Holocaust Experience and Historical Sense Generation – a German Perspective
Jörn Rüsen

Chapter 11. Ayodya, Memory, Myth: Futurising the Past – an Indian perspective
Ranjan Gosh

Chapter 12. Human Suffering and Forgiveness: A dialogue with Kim Dae Jung – an East-Asian perspective
Han Sing-Jin

Texts from the Praxis of Memory, Trauma, Forgiveness and Healing

Chapter 13. Remorse, Forgiveness and Rehumanization: Stories from South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela

Chapter 14. Healing from Auschwitz and Mengele's Experiments
Eva Mozes Kor

Notes on Contributors

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