Muntslag/vuistslag: De historische verbeelding van de politiek

Research output: Book / ReportInaugural speech

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Impressed/ Experienced – The historical imagination of politics This inaugural lecture elaborates on the role of historians in discussions on national history and the imagined community. Many European politicians today make instrumental reference to a common national history, in order to enhance community development and integration policies. Museums and monuments play a role in this respect. In this context we also see the emergence of national canons of history and culture. In her inaugural lecture, Legêne pleas for an active role of historians in public history debates on citizenship and national history, as well as for more methodological and theoretical reflection on the meaning and use of ICT in historical research related to these public history debates. This is illustrated with two cases, from Dutch and Indonesian, and French and African history, referring to changes in the imagination of the national community in a colonial and post-colonial context, and its impact on current notions of citizenship. When politicians today require from citizens that they feel committed to a national past as an expression of commitment to the nation, they face critical questions concerning citizenship and past colonial processes of categorization and idealization of difference. At various occasions, often connected to commemorative moments, this confrontation has lead to political statements concerning historical mistakes, and discussion about state responsibilities for these mistakes of the past. It is suggested that historians should focus on a wide range of sources – from archives to landscapes; from embodied trans-generational knowledge to artistic expressions – in order to deepen our understanding of the meaning of historical experiences concerning citizenship in contemporary society.

dc.subject Citizenship en
dc.subject Colonialism en
dc.subject Public History en
dc.subject ICT en
dc.subject Museum Collections en
dc.subject Lieux de memoire en
Original languageDutch
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherVrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Number of pages27
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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