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Image by 🇸🇮 Janko Ferlič

The Idea of India, Calcutta


In 2015, at the annual conference that launched the History for Peace project, Dr Barbara Christophe delivered a powerful keynote address that has since served as a prism, refracting ideas that strengthen our objectives. Speaking about memory, history and history textbooks and the ambivalence inherent in these, she elaborated on the advantages and disadvantages of different approaches to the use of history teaching as a resource for reconciliation and thus for ‘teaching history for peace’.

Traditionally, history has been defined as the study of the past as it is recorded in documents. However, in recent years, Memory Studies has become an integral part of the historiographical landscape. Urvashi Butalia, also speaking at the same conference, discussed how marginalised histories emerge when we record oral narratives. Thus, textual, visual and oral representations of the past have gradually gained equal importance among historians as source and evidence.

This year, as we complete 70 years of Independence, the History for Peace annual conference looks at India’s engagement or its lack thereof with institutionalised, collective and individual histories that make up the ‘Idea of India’.

Download the programme here, or browse below.

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