Negotiating Pasts in the Nordic Countries is a collection of case-studies spanning from medieval to present time, of how the past has been made meaningful and relevant to people in later periods. As one looks at history one becomes part of a process filled by a desire to come to terms with unknown conditions, to develop consensus, not only with the past, but also with one´s contemporaries. ´History´ is not a simple ´yesterday´, but rather a number of pasts, which are sometimes in conflict, sometimes harmoniously complementing one another.
The authors contribute to the international interdisciplinary field of collective memory which has grown large over the last decades. Studies of commemorations, festivals, exhibitions and museums, historical films and narratives are becoming numerous. Terms such as ´social´ or ´collected´ memory demonstrate the interest in how the past – or images of it – are constructed and built, but also demolished and rejected. In this book we learn more about the process of selecting, interpreting and passing on meaning – how we are negotiating the past.
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