Looking for the Red Thread in the Public History of Contemporary Europe

On 24 March 2013, transform! europe organised a workshop with historians who collaborate with the member foundations of the network. The central question was how to elaborate critical approaches to the public usages of history and, more particular, vis-à-vis the creation of the House of European History (HEH), established by the European Parliament in 2009 with the explicit aim to constitute a public European identity.

To that purpose we invited Francis Wurtz (Honorary Member of the European Parliament) to do a presentation around several questions related to the HEH where he is a board-member. Then we invited various historians who are working with transform! europe foundations to react and brainstorm together with members of the transform! europe managing board on how to possibly set up a network of historians and what possible tasks and objectives there will be in the short, mid and long run.
The main conclusion is that we should take a constructive, but critical, approach to the HEH’s future exhibitions with the aim of ensuring that there is going to be a plural, dialectic and updated scientific basis for their work. Nevertheless, we concluded that the strategic aim for a transform! network of historians is to provide the basis for the foundations for an alternative public history of contemporary Europe and European integration with special emphasis on the role that the European left and social movements (trade unions, feminism, ecologism, etc) have played in the building of European democracy and the European social model.
We will assign a working group of the Akademia project to prepare a series of activities for the ongoing year and 2014.
For contacts or further information you can contact: academia@transform-network.net