Digital Memory – Digital History – Digital Mapping : Transformations of Memory Cultures and Holocaust Education
For some time now, the memory of National Socialism and the Holocaust has been in a process of transition, on the threshold from communicative to cultural memory. In this transfer, memories are tied to media by means of specific techniques and strategies. This function is performed by monuments, memorials, museums, audiovisual mass media and, increasingly, digital tools and practices as well as the Word Wide Web. The latter simplify this transfer process and democratize the shaping of cultural memory, for example, by facilitating the accessibility and availability of digital spaces. However, the rapidly advancing digital transformation not only opens up new opportunities for the representation and remembrance of National Socialism and the Holocaust as well as their mediation, but also involves major challenges and areas of tension. The interactive field of social media, for example, largely escapes institutional, scientific or didactic regulation. Thus, concrete efforts are needed to successfully transfer the remembrance of the Holocaust from communicative to cultural memory, which must take media and digital developments into account as well as the dynamics and complex conditions of heterogeneous societies.
Various projects in contemporary historical research, digital projects of memorials and museums, educational projects and multiple project-related tracks of funding institutions make clear that questions about the transformations of the memory of National Socialism and the Holocaust as well as the significance of digitality in the appropriation and communication of Holocaust education are becoming increasingly relevant. Many of these projects aim to develop geo-referenced web applications in which places of remembrance are marked on digital maps and provided with further information in the sense of deep mapping.
Since 2019, the project “Digital Memoryscape Austria (DERLA) | erinnerungslandschaft.at Persecution and Resistance during National Socialism | Documentation and Education” has been realized at the Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Graz in cooperation with _erinnern.at_ – the Austrian Holocaust Education Institute – and the Institute Center for Information Modelling at the University of Graz.
The international conference "Digital Memory – Digital History – Digital Mapping. Transformations of Memory Cultures and Holocaust Education" is to be seen in the context of this project and aims at discussing different aspects of digital mapping, documentation, remembrance and education projects.
The conference explicitly aims at interdisciplinary exchange and addresses representatives of different disciplines, including historians, media educators, geographers, didacticians/education researchers, representatives of the Digital Humanities as well as scholars in the field of Memory Studies.
Several issues or topics are of particular interest for the conference: