History, Redress, and Reconciliation

  • Founded
  • Seminar Number

Historical redress continues to occupy public and political debates as well as scholarly research. The study of human rights abuses and the ways in which redress addresses past injustices has gained broad recognition across a wide range of academic fields. Despite, or perhaps because of this widespread attention, there has been no systematic attempt to integrate what remain largely disconnected efforts into a trans-disciplinary enterprise let alone paradigmatic approach. In short, the history and the contemporary culture of redress remain a scholarly subject matter that is still in search of its own field. The objective of this seminar is to forge a more structured exchange among scholars and practitioners who engage a set of issues that are yet to self identify as an academic field, and is addressed in different disciplinary spaces. The seminar provides a forum for interdisciplinary work on issues at the intersection of history, memory and contemporary politics with particular emphasis on redressing past wrongs and gross violations of human rights. It encompasses questions among others of transitional justice, cultural resolution, and reconciliation. Its main principle revolves round the question of how history and memory inform contemporary politics, in particular around conflict and post conflict societies.

Past Meetings

Professor Elazar Barkan

Professor Daniel Levy

Ally Tang

Meeting dates and locations are subject to change. Please confirm details with the seminar rapporteur.



10/19/2016 Faculty House, Columbia University
6:00 PM
The Historian As Healer - Contemporary Historian as a Therapist
Henry Rousso, Columbia University

01/23/2017 754 Schermerhorn Ext., Columbia University
6:00 PM
Australia's Memory Imperative: Refugee Activism and the "Bring Them Here" Campaign
Rosanne Kennedy, Australian National University

Notes: Joint meeting with the Seminar on Cultural Memory
03/23/2017 Faculty House, Columbia University
6:00 PM
Man or Monster: the Trial of a Khmer Rouge Torturer
Alexander Hinton, Rutgers University

Ruti Teitel, New York Law School and London School of Economics