The Stage of War
The conference "The Stage of War" focuses on academic and popular representations of war and other large-scale conflicts. Nowadays, the cultural engagement with the history of violent conflicts spans a multitude of academic and above all popular genres, including (graphic) novels, films, tourism, musicals, games, exhibitions and reenactments. Producers of popular genres try to bring the past closer to the public through interaction, performance and multi-sensory experience, often to the discontent of academic historians who fear for a distorted or trivialized past. Nonetheless, research indicates that these popular genres can significantly affect and enhance our understanding of the past.
The unique aim of this conference is to stimulate an exchange between academic and popular approaches to the representation of violent conflicts. Instead of just criticizing popular historical culture, we call on academic historians to make clear what a responsible approach to the past might entail. On the other hand, we ask producers to clarify what the practical and ethical
limitations and opportunities are of representing violent pasts in contemporary society. How can we learn from each other? To what extent can critical historical thinking be stimulated through popular productions?