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

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Mamadou Diawara, Bernard Lategan, Jörn Rüsen
Berghahn Books, Jun 30, 2010 - History - 264 pages
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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.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
FROM AN AFRICAN PERSPECTIVE
11
Social Theory and Making Sense of Africa
13
History by Word of Mouth
27
Historical Memory and Representation of New Nations in Africa
53
Memory History and Historiography of CongoZaïre
67
Remembering the Past Reaching for the Future
88
Remembering Conflict
104
FROM AN INTERCULTURAL PERSPECTIVE
163
Holocaust Experience and Historical Sense Generation from a German Perspective
165
Ayodhya Memory Myth
185
Human Suffering and Forgiveness
193
TEXTS FROM THE PRAXIS OF MEMORY TRAUMA FORGIVENESS AND HEALING
205
Remorse Forgiveness and Rehumanization
207
Healing from Auschwitz and Mengeles Experiments
227
Notes on Contributors
235

From Public History to Private Enterprise
121
Remembering with the Future in Mind
144
Index
239

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About the author (2010)

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.

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