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Understanding the present and moulding the future through interaction with the past: interdisciplinary approaches to identity, migrations and materialities 
Nik Petek-Sargeant (University of Cambridge)
Marie Gravesen (Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS))
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Peter Little (Emory University)
History (x) Decoloniality & Knowledge Production (y)
Philosophikum, S78
Wednesday 31 May, -
Time zone: Europe/Berlin

Short Abstract:

Drawing on history, anthropology, archaeology and other disciplines and finding fertile interdisciplinary ground, this session explores how communities use and interact with the past to organise daily life and respond to shifting political, economic and environmental factors, and possible futures.

Long Abstract:

This session will explore how communities draw on and (re)create their pasts to organise their daily life, establish imaginaries of belonging in place and time, respond to shifting political, economic and environmental factors, and to position themselves in and imagine the future. Several recent advances in history, anthropology and archaeology point at extensive changes that reshaped past malleable identities and their constitutive social structures. By tapping into themes of identity, migration, violence, environmental and socio-political changes, this will lead to a better understanding of the social dynamics that formed contemporary communities. Moreover, as Africa continues to develop its infrastructure and economies, and communities and landscapes are subject to top-down interventions from governments and NGOs, those affected internalise the interventions and recontextualise them through local histories and epistemologies.

This session also intends to explore broader future interdisciplinary avenues between history, archaeology, anthropology, heritage and other disciplines, which have recently followed separate lines of research. However, their combined approaches are fertile grounds that engage communities and their knowledge. Their results can be used to bridge past, present and future identities, as well as address fears and hopes about communities' futures. We hope to explore how usable histories are generated and utilised in policy and outreach, how past social dynamics continue to influence the future, and what role historical knowledge has in the future.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Wednesday 31 May, 2023, -