In 2009-2010, the Program on Human Rights will partner with FCE and DLCL to launch part 2 of the Contemporary History and the Future of Memory series by adding "Reconciliation" to the mission. This series will examine scholarly and institutional efforts to create new national narratives that walk the fine line between before and after, memory and truth, compensation and reconciliation, justice and peace. Some work examines communities ravaged by colonialism and the great harm that colonial and post-colonial economic and social disparities cause. The extent of external intervention creates discontinuities and dislocation, making it harder for people to claim an historical narrative that feels fully authentic. Another response is to set up truth-seeking institutions such as truth commissions. Historical examples of truth commissions in South Africa, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Morocco inform more current initiatives in Canada, Cambodia, Colombia, Kenya, and the United States. While this range of economic, social, political and legal modalities all seek to explain difficult pasts to present communities, it is not yet clear which approach yields greater truth, friendship, reconciliation and community healing. The "History, Memory, and Reconciliation" series will explore these issues.
The series will have its first event in February 2010. Multiple international scholars are invited.