Symposium ‘Judging the Past in a Post-Cold War World

Attempts at settling the legacy of the Cold War have resulted in national Truth and Reconciliation Commissions, prosecution (or attempted prosecution) of state officials, politicians and military officers and the construction of monuments and memorials as sites of memory. They have inspired an outpouring of literary and artistic works, and a flourishing film and documentary industry. They are often marked, however, by on-going dissent and recrimination, as the past ‘refuses to pass.’ This conference aims to trace these various ways of judging the past both in the countries at the hot centre of the Cold War and in those that were swept up in the wake of its confrontations. How have we and how can we come to terms with a past that is still so present?

 Speakers include

Phillip Deery (Professor of History, College of the Arts, Victoria University)

Tim Harper (Reader in South-East Asian and Imperial History, University of Cambridge)

Katherine Hite (Professor of Political Science on the Frederick Ferris Thompson Chair, Vassar)

Klaus Neumann (Professor of History, Swinburne Institute for Social Research, Swinburne University)

Joy Damousi (Professor of History in the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, University of Melbourne)

Ann Curthoys (Professsor emeritus, University of Sydney)

 Registration There are no conference fees. All sessions are open to interested academics. However it would help us to plan the conference if you can indicate that you are planning to attend.

Programme (All sessions held in Kevin Lee room, Main Quad, Sydney Univrsity

Monday 28 Tuesday 29
9-10 Welcome and opening session Revisiting the Cold War Phillip Deery Cultural Subjectivities in Researching the Cold War

Chair: Nicholas Brown

Peter Read and Marivic Wyndham:

Cross-Cultural Challenges in Collaborative Research

10.0.15 Coffee Coffee





[brief pause]

11.30 -12.30

Legacies of the Cold War in South-East Asia

Tim Harper: Remembering and Forgetting the Cold War in Southeast Asia  

Adrian Vickers: Studying Indonesia in a Cold-War Context, Some Mainly Australian Conflicts


Representing the Korean War

Chair: Adrian Vickers

Judith Keene: ‘Massacre in Korea’: Picasso’s other Guernica?

Su-Kyoung Hwang: The Spectatorship of Korean War Massacres

Reclaiming the Victims of the Cold War

Chair: Katherine Hite

Michael Humphrey and Estela Valverde: Disappearance, Exhumation and Reburial: the historical recovery of victims in Argentina, Spain and Bosnia


Cold War and Decolonisation

Ndu-Life Njoku: Instrumentality of the ‘Enemy within’ in the Neo-colonization of the African Mind

Elizabeth Rechniewski: Reclaiming the Legacy of the UPC (Cameroon)

12.30-1.30 Lunch Lunch
1.30-3.30 Memories of the Cold War in Fiction, Cinema, Theatre

Chair: Judith Keene

Peter Morgan: Ismail Kadare and the Case of Albania

Danica Jenkins: Memories as monsters: the ‘return of the dead’ in post-1989 Balkan cinema

Wendy-Llyn Zaza: Writing the Return from Exile: “Mayéutica” (1997) and “La ex exiliada” (2005) by Teresa Gracia

Writing the Memory of the Cold War in Australia

Chair: Joy Damousi

Ann Curthoys: My Cold War: History and Memoir

John Docker: Writing ‘ego-history’

Betty O’Neill: The Quest for Justice: one man’s story

3.30-45 Tea Tea
3.45-5.30 Uses of the Past. The Quest for Historical Justice in Greece

Chair: Vras Karalis

Klaus Neumann: Debtors and Creditors

Joy Damousi: Memories of the Greek Civil War among Children of the Diaspora

‘The Past that will not Pass’

Chair: Janna Thompson

James Curran: Memory failure: The collapse of sentiment in the US-Australia Alliance, 1968-75

Perry Johanssen: Living Hell and Living History: Differing approaches to come to terms with Swedish support of Pol Pot

Closing session: Nicholas Brown: ‘A profound personal choice, not an abstract one’: reflections on teaching the Cold War, and assessing its pedagogical relevance

6-7 Politics, Human Rights and the Art of Commemoration in the Americas

Katherine Hite

Chair: Judith Keene

Booklaunch Tessa Morris-Suzuki launches Klaus Neumann and Janna Thompson’s book Historical Justice and Memory
7.30 Conference Dinner



Book launch

Tuesday 29 September at Gleebooks, 49 Glebe Point Road. 6 for 6.30-7.30pm.

Tessa Morris-Suzuki will launch Historical Justice and Memory. All welcome.

Historical Justice and Memory Edited by Klaus Neumann and Janna Thompson

University of Wisconsin Press, 2015

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