On the CASA Historical Memory Project (2018-2023)
As we considered the theme for 2018-23, the selected topic of Historical Memory presented itself as an obvious choice, with two distinct advantages. Not only is it interdisciplinary -- involving diverse specializations, including literature, cinema, political science, history, sociology, anthropology, social psychology, forensics, law and archeology -- it is also universal, in the sense that all the countries that host CASA Divisional Centers are actively immersed in historical memory debates relating to particularly challenging events in their own contemporary histories. Investigation carried out in Argentina, Chile and Spain will focus on their military dictatorships, civil conflicts and their consequences; in Cuba, work will address the revolution and its impact on contemporary Cuban identity; in Brazil, studies will concentrate on its slavery past, and in Ireland analysis will be carried out regarding the partition and its still-questionable consequences for peace in the region. There is even room for a U.S. research dimension, if one considers the recent dramatic events associated with Charlottesville, and the removal of confederate statues. The U.S. is still coming to terms with its own Civil War, some 160 years after that fateful period in our history.
CASA programs are open to qualified undergraduate students from CASA member institutions. This particular project will provide students with a unique opportunity to showcase research carried out during a sojourn at any one of our CASA Divisional Centers, engaging them with transformative experiences that can only be best carried out on-location. Our focus on rigorous international research is an important factor distinguishing CASA programs.
A series of seminars, conferences and symposia, as well as regular publications, CASA Occasional Papers, will underpin the project and provide participants with platforms for generating discussion around the topic and presenting research findings. In addition, connecting specialists within the wider Historical Memory community will forge new linkages, which will open up further avenues of investigation.