Social Representations of History:
Social psychological and historical approaches to their antecedents, evolution, and role in influencing identities and intergroup relations
Organized by COST Action IS1205
University of Pécs, Hungary, April 9-10th, 2015
This international conference is organized by the Institute of Psychology, University of Pécs, in the framework of Cost Action IS1205 “Social psychological dynamics of historical representations in the enlarged European Union” (http://costis1205.wix.com/home). The main objective is to create space for the interdisciplinary dialogue (particularly between social psychologists and historians) on the interplay between social representations of history (or collective memories), social identities, and intergroup relations.
The international conference will focus on the relevance of history in contemporary people’s lives. How history is being represented contributes to shaping current ethnic, national and European identities. Representations of history elicit group-based emotions that influence behaviours and may lead to intergroup conflicts or reconciliation in Europe and beyond.
The scientific focus of the conference revolves around three major fundamental ideas. First, our relation with the world is built on representations that are shaped and shared within social groups. These representations are not only responsible for our knowledge of the present, but also of the past and future. Secondly, our knowledge about the world is intertwined with our identities; who we are as individuals or as group members. Thirdly, our representations of past intergroup relations, especially conflicts, weigh on current intergroup (e.g. interethnic or international) relations. As a consequence, the transmission of historical narratives, especially about past intergroup conflicts, is crucial in facilitating or impeding reconciliation processes.