For some time now, the memory of National Socialism and the Holocaust has been in a process of transition, on the threshold from communicative to cultural memory. In this transfer, memories are tied to media by means of specific techniques and strategies. This function is performed by monuments, memorials, museums, audiovisual mass media and, increasingly, digital tools and practices as well as the Word Wide Web. The latter simplify this transfer process and democratize the shaping of cultural memory, for example, by facilitating the accessibility and availability of digital spaces. However, the rapidly advancing digital transformation not only opens up new opportunities for the representation and remembrance of National Socialism and the Holocaust as well as their mediation, but also involves major challenges and areas of tension. The interactive field of social media, for example, largely escapes institutional, scientific or didactic regulation. Thus, concrete efforts are needed to successfully transfer the remembrance of the Holocaust from communicative to cultural memory, which must take media and digital developments into account as well as the dynamics and complex conditions of heterogeneous societies.
Various projects in contemporary historical research, digital projects of memorials and museums, educational projects and multiple project-related tracks of funding institutions make clear that questions about the transformations of the memory of National Socialism and the Holocaust as well as the significance of digitality in the appropriation and communication of Holocaust education are becoming increasingly relevant. Many of these projects aim to develop geo-referenced web applications in which places of remembrance are marked on digital maps and provided with further information in the sense of deep mapping.
Since 2019, the project “Digital Memoryscape Austria (DERLA) | erinnerungslandschaft.at Persecution and Resistance during National Socialism | Documentation and Education” has been realized at the Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Graz in cooperation with erinnern.at - the Austrian Holocaust Education Institute - and the Institute Center for Information Modelling at the University of Graz.
The conference explicitly aims at interdisciplinary exchange and addresses representatives of different disciplines, including historians, media educators, geographers, didacticians/education researchers, representatives of the Digital Humanities as well as scholars in the field of Memory Studies.
Several issues or topics are of particular interest for the conference:
- Getting to know and sharing different (georeferenced) digital memory projects. Individual project presentations are welcome.
- Theoretical examination of questions concerning the transformation of Holocaust memory as well as the memory of other mass crimes of the 20th century through the digitalization of memory and the Internet.
- Contributions on issues of long-term archiving and interactive dissemination of research data, as well as general questions of challenges for the Digital Humanities.
- Contributions on the change of memory pedagogy towards digital memory education. What does this mean in concrete terms, and what opportunities and challenges does it entail? What changes has the Covid-19 pandemic brought?
- Concrete questions about the changes/developments in teaching about National Socialism and the Holocaust due to digitalization. How does digitalization change the way schools/teachers/students teach and learn about National Socialism and the Holocaust? How do teaching and learning function through digital interaction and communication, e.g. with mobile devices?
The conference will take place from September 22nd to 24th at the Center for Jewish Studies at the University in Graz. It is a cooperation conference of the Center for Jewish Studies, the Institute Center for Information Modelling (both University of Graz), of erinnern.at and the Institute for the Education in the Arts of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.
Concept and organization: Victoria Kumar, Gerald Lamprecht, Lukas Nievoll, Grit Oelschlegel, Sebastian Stoff.
The organizers will make every effort to cover the costs of travel and accommodation. The amount of the cost coverage depends on the funding.
The publication of the conference contributions in an anthology is planned.
Proposals (project abstracts with a short biobibliography of about 1 page) should be handed in by April 30, 2021 to the following e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please use the subject “Digital Memory Conference”. Abstracts may be written in German or English.
The conference languages are German and English.