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Post-War: Commemoration, Reconstruction, Reconciliation

Post-War: Commemoration, Reconstruction, Reconciliation is a Mellon-Sawyer Seminar Series running in 2017-18 at the University of Oxford and Oxford Brookes University. It brings together academics from many different fields, politicians and leading figures from cultural policy and the charitable sector. They are joined by novelists, poets, artists and musicians whose work has marked war in some way. The Series is divided into three strands - Textual, Monumental, and Aural Commemoration - and is guided by three overarching questions: Who is commemoration for and why? How does commemoration lead to reconstruction and reconciliation? What is the future of commemoration?

# Episode Title Description People Date
1 Rihab Azar – Oud Performance Syrian musician Rihab Azar gives a short performance at the Music and Memory workshop. Rihab Azar 25 May 2018
2 Music and Memory: Panel-led Workshop 1 This workshop brought together musicians and scholars to elicit the distinct contribution of music – as opposed to silence and non-musical sound – to commemoration and healing. Kate Kennedy, Peter Grant, Laura Hassler, Rihab Azar 21 May 2018
3 Music and Memory: Jonathan Dove in Conversation with Kate Kennedy Award-winning composer Jonathan Dove talks to Dr Kate Kennedy about the relationship of his music to war and remembrance. Jonathan Dove, Kate Kennedy 21 May 2018
4 The Very Revd John Witcombe speaks to Rita Phillips The Very Reverend John Witcombe, Dean of Coventry Cathedral, talks to Rita Phillips. John Witcombe, Rita Phillips 24 Apr 2018
5 Pfarrerin Dr Cornelia Kulawik speaks to Kate McLoughlin Pfarrerin Dr Cornelia Kulawik, Pastor of Evangelische Kirchengemeinde Berlin-Dahlem, and Professor Kate McLoughlin. Cornelia Kulawik, Kate McLoughlin 24 Apr 2018
6 Silke Arnold-de Simine speaks to Catherine Gilbert Dr Silke Arnold-de Simine talks to Dr Catherine Gilbert about new forms of testimony, the limits of empathy and the need to understand processes of exclusion and dehumanisation. Silke Arnold-de Simine, Catherine Gilbert 24 Apr 2018
7 Charles Gurrey speaks to Niall Munro Sculptor and carver Charles Gurrey talks to Niall Munro about the importance of context, text and material in his design of commemorative sculptures. Charles Gurrey, Niall Munro 24 Apr 2018
8 Grave Stones: Panel-led Workshop 2 This workshop explored the significance of plastic commemoration, both sacred and secular, focusing on places of worship, funerary sites and sculpture, and memorial monuments. Cornelia Kulawik, John Witcombe, Silke Arnold-de Simine, Charles Gurrey 28 Mar 2018
9 Daniel Libeskind speaks to Niall Munro Architect Daniel Libeskind talks to Niall Munro about civic responsibility, the shock of memory and the role of the monument as a bridge between the past and the future. Daniel Libeskind, Niall Munro 28 Mar 2018
10 Mark Johnston speaks to Alex Donnelly Mark Johnston talks to Alex Donnelly about the work of the Australian National Veterans Arts Museum and the importance of an arts engagement approach to commemoration in improving the well-being of veterans and their families. Mark Johnston, Alex Donnelly 28 Mar 2018
11 Jane Potter speaks to Kate McLoughlin Dr Jane Potter, Reader in Arts at Oxford Brookes University, talks to Kate McLoughlin about textual and material commemorative cultures and the central role of words and language in the reconstruction and renegotiation of memory. Jane Potter, Kate McLoughlin 28 Mar 2018
12 Chrissie Steenkamp speaks to Johana Musalkova Dr Chrissie Steenkamp, Senior Lecturer in Social and Political Change at Oxford Brookes University, talks to Johana Musalkova. Chrissie Steenkamp, Johana Musalkova 28 Mar 2018
13 Gabe Moshenska speaks to Rita Phillips Archaeologist Dr Gabe Moshenska talks to Rita Phillips about democratic forms of commemoration and the public responsibility of researchers in empowering people to take control of their own narratives, history and heritage. Gabe Moshenska, Rita Phillips 28 Mar 2018
14 Emma Login speaks to Dahmicca Wright Dr Emma Login talks to poet-in-residence Dahmicca Wright about Historic England's First World War Memorials Programme, 'memorial mania', and the recent shift from community-based to national forms of remembrance. Emma Login, Dahmicca Wright 28 Mar 2018
15 Tony Horwitz speaks to Niall Munro Author and journalist Tony Horwitz talks to Niall Munro about the sesquicentennial commemorations of the American Civil War, the complexity of reconstruction in the American South, and re-enactment as a way of connecting with the past. Tony Horwitz, Niall Munro 28 Mar 2018
16 Museums and National Identity: Panel-led Workshop 1 This workshop explored the role of museums and memorial sites, drawing cross-cultural comparisons and investigating the relationship between post-war commemoration and national identity. Mark Johnston, Emma Login, Christina Steenkamp, Gabriel Moshenska 02 Mar 2018
17 Daniel Libeskind: Architecture and Memory In this lecture, architect Daniel Libeskind shares his creative process and thinking for many of his most prominent buildings including the Jewish Museum Berlin and the Military History Museum in Dresden. Daniel Libeskind 26 Feb 2018
18 Harvey Whitehouse speaks to Alex Donnelly and Johana Musalkova Harvey Whitehouse, Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Oxford, talks to Alex Donnelly and Johana Musalkova about shared responses to experiences of suffering and the potential role of commemoration in achieving social cohesion. Harvey Whitehouse, Alex Donnelly, Johana Musalkova 12 Dec 2017
19 Rachel Seiffert speaks to Catherine Gilbert Novelist Rachel Seiffert talks to Dr Catherine Gilbert about the ritual of memory and the possibilities of fiction as a response to a difficult past. Rachel Seiffert, Catherine Gilbert 08 Dec 2017
20 Lyndsey Stonebridge speaks to Rita Phillips Lyndsey Stonebridge, Professor of Modern Literature and History at the University of East Anglia, talks to Rita Phillips about literary humanitarianism and the ethics of empathy. Lyndsey Stonebridge, Rita Phillips 08 Dec 2017
21 Elleke Boehmer speaks to Kate McLoughlin Elleke Boehmer talks to Kate McLoughlin about her most recent novel, The Shouting in the Dark, the language of reconciliation in South Africa, and the creative potential for both the work of fiction and the work of literary criticism. Elleke Boehmer, Kate McLoughlin 08 Dec 2017
22 Conflict and Community: Panel-led Workshop 2 Mobilising the wide-ranging expertise of the speakers, this workshop explored questions of narrative, community and the special commemorative needs that arise in the wake of civil war and terrorism. Rachel Seiffert, Lyndsey Stonebridge, Harvey Whitehouse, Helen Small 24 Nov 2017
23 Interview with Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice (Liberal Democrat peer and Director of the Centre for the Resolution of Intractable Conflict (CRIC)) talks to Johana Musalkova and Rita Phillips about poetry, peace processes and the challenges of creating positive commemoration. Lord John Alderdice, Johana Musalkova, Rita Phillips 20 Nov 2017
24 Jeremy Treglown speaks to Alex Donnelly Professor Jeremy Treglown and Alex Donnelly discuss the politics of commemoration and the challenges of remembrance for both veterans and civilians. Jeremy Treglown, Alex Donnelly 21 Nov 2017
25 Dunya Mikhail speaks to Alex Donnelly Iraqi-American poet Dunya Mikhail talks to Alex Donnelly about commemoration, reconnection and poetry as ‘a museum of feeling’. Dunya Mikhail, Alex Donnelly 21 Nov 2017
26 Philippe Sands speaks to Kate McLoughlin Philippe Sands, QC, international human rights lawyer and author of East West Street, talks to Kate McLoughlin about the law-court as a place of commemoration and what he came to understand outside the city of Lviv. Philippe Sands, Kate McLoughlin 21 Nov 2017
27 Aminatta Forna speaks to Catherine Gilbert Aminatta Forna OBE, author of The Devil that Danced on the Water, talks to Dr Catherine Gilbert about silence, narrative and resilience in Sierra Leone. Aminatta Forna, Catherine Gilbert 21 Nov 2017
28 Poetry and Life-Writing: Panel-Led Workshop 1 Bringing together experts working at the intersection of literature, human rights, foreign policy and peace initiatives, this workshop explored the role of poetry and life-writing in post-war healing. Dunya Mikhail, Philippe Sands, Lord John Alderdice, Jeremy Treglown 21 Nov 2017
29 Memoir and Memory: Aminatta Forna in Conversation with Elleke Boehmer Launch event for the Mellon-Sawyer Seminar Series. Aminatta Forna, OBE (novelist and memoirist, Lannan Visiting Professor of Poetics at Georgetown University) in conversation with Elleke Boehmer (Professor of World Literature in English, Oxford). Aminatta Forna, Elleke Boehmer 20 Nov 2017