Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies

History, Memory and Politics of the Past Project

globeHistory is alive as almost never before in international affairs. War crimes tribunals, truth commissions and other attempts to expose and deal with the past are proliferating. The History, Memory, and Politics of the Past Project will explore how various countries have approached and/or are now dealing with difficult aspects of their past. The Project covers all the regions of the world and different time periods in the recent history. It includes a lecture and film series, conferences, and other related events. The lecture series features speakers from GW, the Washington area, the broader US, and beyond. We often co-sponsor events with the National Security Archive and with the Sigur Center's Project on Memory and Reconciliation in East Asia.

Two of the Institute's faculty members are currently focusing their research in this field. Professor Hope M. Harrison of the History Department is working on a book examining political and popular debates in Germany about how to depict and commemorate the history of the Berlin Wall. She also teaches a master's course, Hist. 251, on the uses and misuses of history in international affairs. Professor Mary Beth Stein of the Department of Romance, German and Slavic Languages and Literatures is researching individual memory and public history at Berlin's Hohenschoenhausen Memorial Museum (the main prison of the former East German secret police, or Stasi).

University Seminars on History, Memory and Politics

In January 2009 , IERES hosted a University Seminar on History, Memory and Politics, "Working with and on Memory in Iraq." Previous events held include"The Bombing of Dresden," "The Problems of Decommunization and Retrospective Justice in Central and Eastern Europe: A Comparative Look," "History, Memory and Politics in Russia: A Multidisciplinary Approach" and "History, Memory and Politics in Germany: A Multidisciplinary Approach." For further information, please contact Professor Hope M. Harrison at

The George Washington University Seminars program was established in 1985 to foster sustained discussion of issues that cross traditional disciplinary boundaries among members of the GW faculty and their distinguished counterparts in universities, research centers, federal agencies, international organizations, and private industries throughout the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. The goal of the Seminars is to connect the research and inquiry activities of the academy with the major institutions of society, thereby ensuring a sharing of information. For more information on the University Seminar, please click here.


The First International Conference on Uyghur Studies:History, Culture and Society
Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, September 25-27, 2014

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