Memory, Testimony and Uses of History

Historical memory shapes human societies – but often societies conceive of the past in a way that diverges from state sanctioned memory. IGES scholars lead their scholarly fields in terms of finding innovative methodological approaches on how people make sense of and come to terms with the past.

Strand speaker: Nicholas Martin 

Affiliated IGES scholars

Dr Thomas Brodie is a Lecturer in 20th Century European History whose research primarily addresses the social and cultural histories of Nazi Germany, with a particular focus on the period of the Second World War and its aftermaths.

Dr Julian Hoerner is a Lecturer in Politics at POLSIS. His research focuses on the interaction of electoral behaviour and political institutions in shaping representation, accountability, and the quality of democracy in Europe. He also has an interest the impact of historical legacies on contemporary politics. Before joining POLSIS, Julian was a Senior Research Analyst covering the EU and Germany at the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

Prof Sara Jones is Professor in the Department of Modern Languages. Her current research analyses the political, social and cultural processes of remembering state socialist dictatorship.

Dr Maria Roca Lizarazu is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in the Department of Modern Languages within LCAHM, specialising in contemporary German-language literatures of (post-)migration, German Jewish literature and culture, Holocaust literatures, and Memory studies.

Dr Nicholas Martin is a Reader in European Intellectual History who researches modern intellectual history, in particular the ideas of Friedrich Nietzsche and their reception, as well as the cultural history of war, terrorism and political violence in modern Germany.

Dr David Zell is an Associate Research Fellow interested in cultural commemorations and the construction of cultural and political identity in the GDR.

Current projects

Testimony in Practice, Arts and Humanities Research Council, 2019-2020 (Principal Investigator Sara Jones)

Recent publications (selection)

Maria Roca Lizarazu, ‘Moments of Possibility: Holocaust Postmemory, Subjunctivity, and Futurity in Katja Petrowskaja’s Vielleicht Esther (2014) und Robert Menasse’s Die Hauptstadt (2017)’Forum for Modern Language Studies 56:4 (2021), pp. 406-426.

Sara Jones, Using Testimony in the Classroom: Guidance for Teachers, 2020.

Maria Roca Lizarazu, Renegotiating Postmemory: The Holocaust in Contemporary German-language Jewish Literature (Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2020)

Sara Jones, Testimony through culture: towards a theoretical framework, Rethinking History, 2019, 23:3: 257-278.

Thomas Brodie, German Catholicism at war, 1939-1945 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018).

Nicholas Martin, ‘War in peace: Pacifist and anti-war writing in the battle for control of German Great War memory, 1927–1930’, in Pacifist and Anti-Militarist Writing in German, 1889–1928: From Bertha von Suttner to Erich Maria Remarque. Eds. Ritchie Robertson and Andreas Kramer (Munich: Iudicium, 2018): 292-303.

Learn more about the other strands in the IGES research profile