19 May 2013 -21 May 2014


An ESRC workshop organized in co-operation with the British School at Athens. (A selection of recorded papers is available in the online BSA Media Archive)

The British School at Athens is hosting a two-day workshop on collective memory and political violence that will explore the subjective experience of time and history in the post-Ottoman world. The workshop is made possible with the support of the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and forms part of the Balkan Futures programme of the British School at Athens, the Ecole française d’Athènes and the British Institute at Ankara. It will take place at the British School at Athens from the 19th to the 21st May.

In the past decade, a significant sub-field within the humanities and social sciences has taken a memorial turn. This paradigm shift has arguably brought increasing sophistication to the ways in which anthropologists and historians account for cultural experiences of time and social change. The resulting transition from unilineal or chronological models of time to alternative, culturally-informed models could be said to mirror the transition from geometry to topology in the study of shape and surface: just as the shift to topology in the sciences allowed for the study of space not as fixed but in movement and distortion, so too new socio-cultural models of memory could be said to allow us more fully to account for the non-lineal nature of time, and its apparent differential rates of flow as some critical events become everpresent or sempiternal (remaining close) while others fade away from public consciousness (becoming distant).

With the countries that once constituted the Ottoman Empire having arguably been amongst the most productive geographical areas for studies of collective memory, this workshop brings together historians and social anthropologists working on the intersubjective experience, the struggles for appropriation, and the intergenerational transmission of historical events in this region. For further information please contact Nicolas Argenti (Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology, Brunel University) at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.