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  • 1.
    Jonsson, Stefan
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, REMESO - Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Willén, JuliaLinköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, REMESO - Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Austere histories in European societies: social exclusion and the contest of colonial memories2016Collection (editor) (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Austere Histories in European Societies discusses how the current economic and political crisis in Europe affects not just our present but also our views and interpretations of the past. The contributions to the book examine a firmly defined problem: in which ways do crisis and decline in contemporary Europe trigger a selective forgetting and remodelling of the past? This problem is addressed through a set of questions, which the contributors to the collection address at various levels:

    • How do present policies of austerity and the ensuing social exclusion of migrants and minorities influence the perceptions and interpretations of the place of minorities, migrants and colonized peoples in European history?
    • How do new regimes of historiography and memory culture relate to emerging and established patterns of discrimination and social segmentation in today’s European societies?

     In seeking to answer these questions, the book makes a strong contribution to a European-wide discussion on the backlash against multiculturalism, diversity, and immigration, and on changing interpretations of the imperial and colonial systems that have shaped Europe’s position in the world.

    The point of departure for the collection is the recent turn of European societies toward more austere political regimes, entailing budget cuts, deregulation of labour markets, restrictions of welfare systems, securitization of borders, and new regimes of migration and citizenship. In the wake of such changes, new forms of social inclusion and exclusion appear that are justified through a reactivation of differences of race, class and gender. Against this backdrop, the book investigates contemporary understandings of history and cultural memory. Are we witnessing a turn toward austerity also in theories and practices of historiography, as well as in pedagogies of history? Can we speak of an austere historiography, an enforcement of conformity on Europe past and present?

    The contributions to the book examine, in both national and comparative perspective, how this development entails a privileging of certain narratives of the European past, whereas other parts of the cultural heritage are being weeded out. Strong interests are apparently at work to purge the histories of specific European nations, but also those of Europe, the West, and globalization from cultural plurality. The authors also discuss how heroic and homogeneous stories about the past of nations, regions, institutions and religions are being retold, reinvented, and re-launched. The book thus explores to what extent history (including public debate on history and history education) is again becoming “nationalistic”, and to what extent Europe’s proclaimed “cosmopolitanism” is being narrowed down so as to simply celebrate the achievements of Europe and posit the West as a model of universality to be emulated by others.

    Most chapters in the book focus on debates on history and colonial legacies in Britain, France, Netherlands, Denmark, Portugal, Sweden and Germany. They show how an increasing number of historians and intellectuals are again becoming blind to less gratifying parts of Europe’s history. While it is still too early to speak of a historical revisionism in the strict sense (for there are also strong counter-tendencies in parts of the academic community and postcolonial and migrant communities and organizations), the authors nonetheless argue that a transformation is under way, corresponding to a new politics of austerity that seems impatient with both democracy and the complexities of past. Among the sacrifices of this tendency are multiculturalism, postcolonial memories, and minority discourses of all kinds. What is lost is thus the very complexity and contradictoriness of Europe and the West. Especially, colonial and postcolonial memories are evicted from their recently claimed habitats in the European past, and again placed at the outskirts, far beyond the limit of the Western world. There is thus a strong correlation, which this collection aims to extract and analyze, between the ways in which migrant and migrant labourers are treated by present policies and the ways in which memories and experiences of migrants, minorities and colonized peoples are treated in historiography, historical pedagogy, and cultural heritage institutions.

  • 2.
    Jonsson, Stefan
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, REMESO - Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Willén, Julia
    Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, REMESO - Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Introducing austere histories2016In: Austere histories in European societies: social exclusion and the contest of colonial memories / [ed] Stefan Jonsson, Julia Willén, London: Routledge, 2016, 1, p. 1-18Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this introductory chapter, we present the concept of ‘austere histories’ by situating it in the intersection of at least three contemporary issues, cultural contexts and academic discussions: first, discussions on Europe’s cultural memory and the precarious place of the colonial legacy in it; second, controversies on multiculturalism, racism, xenophobia and Europe’s migration crises; third and finally, the debate on austerity as policy and as ideology.

    We analyse how austerity turns economic concerns into moral and cultural ones and how it simultaneously remodels historical consciousness and conceptions of Europe’s colonial past. Examining how such processes in turn changes the relationships between classes, ethnic minorities, majorities and migrants, we seek to reveal how this affects the very definition and self-image of contemporary European Societies. Furthermore, we explore to what extent and in which ways present-day historical debate and practises of history writing support and legitimize the idea of ‘austerity’ and its social and political consequences, in the areas of citizenship, migration and social exclusion.

  • 3.
    Willén, Julia
    Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, REMESO - Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    del Fierro, Claudia (Editor)
    Contested histories from el Complejo: an anthology2017Collection (editor) (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 4.
    Willén, Julia
    Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, REMESO - Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Gruvornas röster2007In: Glänta, ISSN 1104-5205, no 4, p. 33-37Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 5.
    Willén, Julia
    Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, REMESO - Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Past futures lost: people power of the south as utopian concurrence2017In: Contested histories from el Complejo: An anthology / [ed] Carlsson, Hans; del Fierro, Claudia; Willén, Julia, Munkedal: Julia Willén , 2017, p. 85-96Chapter in book (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 6.
    Willén, Julia
    Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, REMESO - Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Vad är en källtext?: Eurocentrism och vittnesbörd som källtext2009In: Kanon ifrågasatt: Kanoniseringsprocesser och makten över vetandet / [ed] Leppänen, Katarina; Lundahl, Mikela, Hedemora: Gidlunds förlag, 2009, p. 51-74Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 7.
    Willén, Julia
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, REMESO - Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Jonsson, Stefan
    Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, REMESO - Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Writing history for an uncertain future: concluding remarks2017In: Austere histories in European societies: social exclusion and the contest of colonial memories / [ed] Stefan Jonsson, Julia Willén, London: Routledge, 2017, p. 182-194Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Following the failure of Europe to confront its supressed colonial past on a general level, the colonial wound continues to repeat itself. In the present, this wound is manifested as a colonial divide that separates postcolonial citizens, indigenes, and migrants from majority Europeans. In this concluding chapter, we argue that this inequality is being sanctioned by hegemonic history writing, as well as being maintained, or even aggravated, by the current ideological conditions of austerity. Against a horizon of an austere future, and as an alternative to the austere histories that are critically examined in this volume, we here suggest a historiography that takes its point of departure in this wound: how the colonial past transformed Europe and thus is preserved as an integral part of the present and its future.

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