Conflict, Trauma, Memorialisation: Material Culture, Archives, Public Space

Date / time: 22 June - 23 June, 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

How do historians and those who work with history in the public sphere deal with difficult, contested or traumatic pasts? What challenges face those who seek to engage public audiences with such histories? What objects should and shouldn’t be collected or exhibited? Whose voices get to be privileged in collections, exhibitions and archives and why? What can we do to bring marginalised voices to the centre? What representations of the past should or should not be preserved in public space and in archives and museums? How do we decide?

This conference, organised with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, brings leading scholars and practitioners from Europe and north America to Belfast, Northern Ireland, in order to interrogate the challenges facing public historians as they seek to address difficult or traumatic pasts in various contexts. Following three days of closed workshops focusing on three case studies – the Holocaust, the legacies of race and slavery in the US, and the Northern Ireland conflict – the speakers will reflect on the representation of these histories in museums, archives, oral history collections and public space.

This conference will take place in-person at Queen’s University, Belfast. For more information and to register, please visit: