I am an historian of ideas with particular interest in questions about historicity and ethics. My current research focuses on forgiveness and memory in relation to conceptions of guilt and responsibility in Western Europe since the post-war period, focusing on the writings of Hannah Arendt, Vladimir Jankélévitch and Jean Améry. At the centre of attention is their understanding of the ethical relation between past, present and future, and the role they ascribe to history in the light of this relation. By reading their texts against the current notions of historical consciousness and uses of history, the analysis contribute to a contemporary discussion about how history is used as a common space to express the failures of one’s own society.
I am also part of the Swedish transdisciplinary research program Time, Memory, Representation: A Multidisciplinary Program on Transformations in Historical Consciousness (http://histcon.se), funded by the Bank of Sweden Tercentennary Donation. My project within the program studies the public debate regarding memorials in Germany and France since the post-war period. In contrast to the affirmative role of the monument in the 19th Century, many of the more recent European monuments symbolize the failures and regrets of Western civilization, notably the Shoah. The study of the debate over memorials focuses on how historical experiences are narrated and used in contemporary memory culture.