Nationalist and xenophobic movements in North America and Europe should learn from post-war citizenship narratives of inclusion and reconstruction

August 17, 2017  - by Dr. Helga Hallgrimsdottir, University of Victoria

The recent resurgence of nationalist and xenophobic movements in North America and Europe has in part been powered by the deployment of particular narratives of the past, especially narratives about migration, settlement, and belonging. Yet, Europe’s experience in the post-war period shows that narratives of the past can also be used to foster inclusion and new readings of citizenship. Similarly, the Truth and Reconciliation process in Canada may also show a way forward through how rethinking past historical narratives can forge a pathway towards a meaningful politics of inclusion.

One of the major steps towards the rethinking of past historical narratives is to facilitate an intercultural dialogue about how narratives of the past – or the politics of memory - can influence current political choices and policy decisions, and how we can talk more effectively about the past – as scholars, teachers, and citizens – in ways to foster more inclusive readings of the present.

Narratives of Memory, Migration, and Xenophobia: Intercultural Dialogues” is an international symposium at the University of Victoria. It aims at stimulating public discussions with academics and artists on the central themes of the project. The conference is open to public and takes place on August 24/25th.