Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS



Project ID: 340124
Funded under: FP7-IDEAS-ERC
Country: Israel

Mid-Term Report Summary - JUDGINGHISTORIES (Experience, Judgement, and Representation of World War II in an Age of Globalization)

The research project “JudgingHistories” offers avant-garde methodology to the historical understanding of World War II in a globalizing world. Traditional scholarship of the war typically focuses on a horizontal (West-East) alignment while looking at the European and the Pacific theaters of war as two separate spatially power spheres. “JudgingHistories”, on the other hand, interfaces the horizontal focus – that is, the continental European approach to the war – with a vertically oriented alignment (North-South), and in doing so challenges the isolationist approach to the spheres of events in Europe/Asia and Asia/Pacific. This novel and unconventional research methodology discloses a realm of conflicting and morally charged discourses of comparison and analogy, revealing the Holocaust to function as the central event of continental narration, on the one hand, while genocidal atrocities highlight the colonial or post-colonial comprehension, perception and narration, on the other.

“JudgingHistories” is located in the field of 20th century history. The project’s interdisciplinary approach manifests itself in the expertise of the team members who represent various sub-areas of modern and contemporary history, especially the history of India, Japan, China, Korea, North Africa and the Arab world, Mandate Palestine, Australia, the US, Ireland, Germany and Central Europe, as well as global history, memory studies, legal history, intellectual history and history of colonialism.

The project researchers, specializing in different regions and their proper languages and cultures – extending from East Asia to South Asia, the Middle- and Near East and North Africa, as well as the European continent – were instructed to adjust their knowledge, expertise and research inquiries according to the epistemic foundations of the project. The fundamental quest has been to communicate common concepts and modes of thought as well as questions of practical implementation. The modes of historical knowledge had to become intersected with those of cultural anthropology, philosophy, law and material cultures, especially in the military domain, logistics, cartography, etc. The integration of the different expertise brought together in the framework of the project was successfully accomplished.

Over the last two and a half years, the project has established several platforms to encourage and ensure constant knowledge transfer both between the project members as well as between project members and scholars from “outside”. These platforms include a guest lectures series “Global History of World War II”, international conferences and workshops, internal seminars, as well as a reading group.

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