State-sponsored History after 1945

    Ghent, Belgium

    The INTH is proud to announce the conference on ‘State-sponsored history after 1945′ that will take place in Ghent (Belgium) from the 23rd to the 25th of November 2015.

    Since their earliest inception, modern states and their regimes have recognized the importance to draft and direct ‘their’ national history. Although 19th century models of romanticist nationalist history lie behind us, post 1945 reality shows that regimes as a rule still recognize the protection of ‘national history’ as an intrinsic part of national state interest. State interventionism in the drafting of national history has arguably increased since the early 1990s, although the shapes, forms, contexts, goals and outcome continues to diversify and complexify. We want to promote an interdisciplinary debate on the history that is created when state authorities mobilize their financial, political, cultural, judicial and/or academic resources to set up a durable construction of historiographies, collective memories and public narratives or visual representations related to (perceived) ‘national history’. The main aims of the conference are:

    • to create an overview of the diversity of forms of state-sponsored history around the globe;
    • to analyze processes of state influence;
    • to analyze the types of histories and narratives that result from this;

    The city of Ghent is located in the heart of Flanders, halfway between Brussels and Bruges. It is home to about a quarter million people, which results in a lovely combination of a picturesque atmosphere with a young and cosmopolitan state of mind. Ghent is also a historical city: it was one of the richest and most powerful cities of Europe during the Middle Ages, and the historical city centre has been restored in this fashion. You can still breathe in the atmosphere of the Late Middle Ages walking through the city. Ghent also has a young and vibrant atmosphere, combing a lively artistic and musical scene with many different kinds of bars, cinemas, restaurants and night clubs. Ghent has been deemed “Europe’s best kept secret” by Lonely Planet, and “The most authentic historical city in the world” by National Geographic Traveler Magazine.

    Must-see tourist attractions are the Sint-Baafs Cathedral with “The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb” altarpiece, the Belfry and the Gravensteen Castle, but there is a lot more to discover. Due to Ghent’s relatively small size, all tourist attractions are at walking distance from most hotels in the city centre.

    The highlight of the year is the “Ghent Festival”, during which the city turns into one big party location for ten days in July. It attracts about two million people each year.

    For more information, visit the Ghent Tourism website