History and Memory

History and Memory

In efforts to create pluralism, the past and present sometimes collide. How the past is interpreted and remembered plays an important role in shaping a society’s assumptions about who belongs. Belonging can be fostered by widening history to include an honest look at each group’s experiences as members of the society. That does not mean excluding the past experiences of groups. It means talking openly about past injustices to create a more inclusive future for everyone.

    Historical Literacy as a Route to Reconciliation

    In diverse societies, history can function as either a route to inclusion or as a tool of exclusion. In societies committed to pluralism, divergent memories are acknowledged and the past is examined through a critical lens. Making space in the past for previously excluded groups can foster a greater sense of belonging in the present. In societies where history has been used for political ends, truth and reconciliation commissions can play a role in restoring justice and creating a more inclusive understanding of the past.

    The Centre’s work in this area seeks to support societies in their efforts to build inclusive historical narratives that reflect their country’s diversity.

    Centre Attends EUROCLIO—European Association of History Educators’ 25th Annual Conference

    In April 2018, Centre staff attended EUROCLIO—European Association of History Educators’ 25th Annual Conference on history education in Marseille, France and ran a workshop on looking at history and memory through the lens of pluralism, in partnership with EUROCLIO.

    Global Voices on Pluralism:
    A New Publication Series

    Exploring history and memory as a pathway to pluralism in Kyrgyzstan

    The Centre has launched Global Voices on Pluralism, a new publication series. The papers in the series are part of the Centre’s project, “History and Memory in Kyrgyzstan: Toward an Inclusive Society,” developed to support local scholars. Each paper explores an aspect of Kyrgyzstan’s history as a diverse society with the aim of generating awareness in Kyrgyzstan about the importance of more inclusive historical narratives as a pathway to pluralism.


    In September 2017, the Centre interviewed Ukrainian-Canadian Olga Shapovalova, a former history student, speaking about her experience studying history in both Ukraine and Canada. One of the questions she asks is: can we have a history that is truly objective, even if the historian is aware of the limitations of sources and his or her own bias? [in Russian with English subtitles]