IHC transforms Lisbon into the capital of historiography

May 20, 2024 | News

From 21 to 24 May, hundreds of specialists in historiography and history theory will be in Lisbon for the 5th network conference of the International Network for Theory of History, of which the IHC is the local host. Under the theme “History & Responsibility: Doing History in Times of Conflicting Political Demands“, the conference will be held at the National Library of Portugal and Iscte – University Institute of Lisbon.

With the participation of some of the most prominent names in contemporary historiography — such as Joan W. Scott and Ethan Kleinberg —, the conference will focus on questions of responsibility and historical ethics, including the issues of colonialism, the Anthropocene, the political uses of the past, and the narrative dispute over historical truth in the work of historians in the 21st century.

The writing of history has always involved ethical concerns. In recent decades, however, there has been a growing and generalised public discussion about the social responsibility of history and those who study it. The most recognisable examples of this phenomenon are probably the debates around historical errors and their relationship to contemporary injustices and inequalities. An example are the initiatives that seek to address the role of slavery in contemporary racism or the continuing influence of colonial legacies on (global) power relations. The idea of historical injustice will also be present in the discussion about the impact of industrial pollution on climate change, or the influence of institutional child abuse on the contemporary socio-economic problems faced by indigenous communities.

Organised into three plenary lectures, five round tables and dozens of parallel oral communication sessions, the conference will bring together experts from 35 countries and five different continents – only Antarctica is not represented.


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Institute of Contemporary History
Av. Berna, 26 C 1069-061 LISBOA
 Tel.: +351 21 7908300 ext. 1545
Email: ihc@fcsh.unl.pt


Monday to Friday
10.00h – 13.00h / 14.00h – 18.00h