This article is at once about historical dialogues and itself a dialogue: In an effort to discuss historical dialogues in the intersection between the academic field of memory studies and the practical field of peace-building, the article offers a semi-structured conversation between an academic and two practitioners. It is on the one hand an exploratory dialogue aimed at identifying and observing potential entry points for analysis and practice in conflict transformations, whilst on the other a discussion of how historical dialogues themselves are framed as open and exploratory or principled and tied to preconditions. The first conversation is between an academic and a practitioner engaged directly in historical dialogues through a storytelling project in Northern Ireland. They bring together theoretical, practical, and methodological considerations of moving between levels of memory as well as understanding historical dialogues at once as processes and products. The second conversation is with a practitioner who works with peacebuilding and dialogue, but not yet from an explicit entry point of historical dialogue. This conversation explores the role of religion and religious practice as powerful institutions and instruments in bridging individual and collective memory, as well as challenging community cohesion. As such, the article deals with historical dialogues that bring the past into the present, i.e. storytelling projects (the first conversation), or upon which memory work may be brought to bear, i.e. reading preventive dialogues also as historical dialogues (second conversation). The chapter concludes with a brief discussion of how memory work can become part of peacebuilding practices.


conflict, East Africa, memory, Northern Ireland, peace-building, prevention, reconciliation

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Kritika Kultura
Department of English
School of Humanities
Ateneo de Manila University

The Philippine Commission on Higher Education (CHED) declares Kritika Kultura as a CHED-recognized journal under the Journal Challenge Category of its Journal Incentive Program.

International Board of Editors

Jan Baetens
Faculty of Arts
Katholieke Universiteit te Leuven (Belgium)

Joel David
Professor of Cultural Studies
Inha University (South Korea)

Michael Denning
Professor of American Studies and English
Department of English
Yale University (US)

Faculty of Cultural Sciences
Universitas Gadjah Mada (Indonesia)

Regenia Gagnier
Professor of English
University of Exeter (UK)

Leela Gandhi
John Hawkes Professor of the Humanities and English
Brown University (US)

Inderpal Grewal
Professor of Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies
Professor of South Asian Studies, Ethnicity, Race and Migration Studies
Yale University (US)

Peter Horn
Professor Emeritus and Honorary Lifetime Fellow
University of Cape Town (South Africa)
Honorary Professor and Research Associate in German Studies
University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

Anette Horn
Professor of German Studies
University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

David Lloyd
Distinguished Professor of English
University of California, Riverside (US)

Bienvenido Lumbera
National Artist for Literature
Professor Emeritus
University of the Philippines

Rajeev S. Patke
Director of the Division of Humanities
Professor of Humanities
Yale NUS College (Singapore)

Vicente L. Rafael
Giovanni and Amne Costigan Endowed Professor of History
University of Washington (US)

Vaidehi Ramanathan
Department of Linguistics
University of California, Davis (US)

Temario Rivera
Professorial Lecturer
Department of Political Science
University of the Philippines

E. San Juan, Jr.
Philippines Studies Center (US)

Neferti X.M. Tadiar
Professor of Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies
Barnard College (US)
Director of the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race
Columbia University (US)

Antony Tatlow
Honorary Professor of Drama
Trinity College Dublin (Ireland)