Summer School - "Memory in the Digital age: Comparative Memory Studies” 31 July – 6 August 2017, Germany

Publish Date: Mar 31, 2017

Deadline: May 12, 2017

4th Bergen-Belsen International Summer School – „Memory in the Digital age: Comparative Memory Studies” 31 July – 6 August 2017

The fourth Bergen-Belsen International Summer School, which will take place at the BergenBelsen Memorial from the 31st of July until the 6th of August 2017, will deal with memory and remembrance in a comparative perspective. We aim to gather international Master and PhD students from different disciplines, but with a particular interest in topics in Holocaust-, Genocide- and Memory Studies. The programme will consist of lectures, workshops, tours of the Memorial and an excursion to Hanover.


During the Summer School, we want to offer the participants the opportunity to both learn more about the specifics of Holocaust remembrance at the Bergen-Belsen Memorial and discuss various topics related to Comparative Genocide- and Memory studies. We will focus on questions such as:

What perspectives and experiences do visitors of memorials bring along and how does this influence their perception of a historical site? Does competitive victimhood play a role in remembrance and if so, to what extent? How and in what context could or should we compare mass atrocities? What are different strategies of transitional justice and how successful have they proven to be? What are the challenges and opportunities of social media in educational work at memorials?


This year’s Summer School will consist of an introductory lecture by Kjell Anderson (Leiden/Amsterdam). He will provide a theoretical framework, by elaborating on the (rather new) field of Comparative Genocide Studies and will present his research on the criminology of genocide. The first days feature guided tours in the Memorial’s permanent exhibition and on the former camp grounds. This will be complemented by a workshop on aspects of concept and design in museology by Sytse Wierenga (Barcelona) and Stephanie Billib (Bergen-Belsen). Thijs Bouwknegt, who is currently a researcher at Netherlands Institute for War-, Holocaust- and Genocide Studies (Amsterdam), will offer his insight on processes of transitional justice in (amongst others) Sub-Saharan Africa from his experiences as a journalist, historian and jurist.

This year’s Summer School also includes presentations by early career scholars and young professionals on topics ranging from remembrance of the Armenian genocide to concepts of competitive victimhood in remembering the Holocaust in the former Socialistic Federative Republic of Yugoslavia. These sessions will provide an opportunity to discuss the participants’ own work in an open environment. The young scholars presenting their work were found through a Call for Papers. All other participants will have the opportunity to actively engage by commenting lectures, writing blogposts and moderating the final discussion.

During a day trip to Hanover, the group will visit the Ahlem Memorial. This former Jewish horticultural school first served as an assembly point for deportations and was later a “police replacement prison”.


The working language of the Bergen-Belsen International Summer School is English. The participants’ language skills must be sufficient to enable them to understand the preparatory texts, follow the lectures and tours and actively participate in the discussions. Participants must be 18 or older.

Accommodation will be in double rooms. The costs for the programme, accommodation and meals will be borne by the Bergen-Belsen Memorial. Participants are responsible for arranging and paying for their own arrival and departure as well as any necessary visas. The Memorial will not subsidise the travel costs.

Registration is possible via the online application form until the 12th of May 2017.


Tessa Bouwman

For more information please click "Further Official Information" below.

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