Memory and Migration: German-Australian Dialogues in the Humanities

Bringing together memory and migration studies in Germany and Australia, this international and interdisciplinary project had a dual focus. Firstly, it problematised the memory of migration, examining how migrants remember the experience of dis-/re-location and exploring the possibility of a transgenerational transmission. Secondly, it dealt with memory and migrants, investigating if and how migrants engage with established national narratives which have been shaped by a contaminated past. The complexity of these issues required a broad humanities-based perspective. Bringing together scholars from the fields of literature, performance studies and history at Australian and German universities, this project created an interdisciplinary dialogue on memory, migration and multiculturalism.

Paying particular attention to the tensions between official and unofficial narratives, and exploring cultural products (performance/literature/exhibitions/music/film) as repositories for unacknowledged and/or unassimilated experience, the project participants investigated the intricacies of individual and collective memory and migration. The complexity of transnational memory discourses cannot be addressed within a single national framework. Comparative and interdisciplinary, German-Australian Dialogues in the Humanities creates a forum for the discussion and development of transnational perspectives that provide fresh insights into this problem complex of memory and migration.

This 2-year project (2009-10) was funded by Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD) and the Group of 8 Universities (Australia) and supported by The Australian National University and Konstanz University.

Project Website:

Updated:  1 February 2018/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications