Institute of Historical and Cultural Anthropology

Discomforting Objects – Interdisciplinary Approaches to Investigating and Exhibiting Contested Pasts

Tübingen-Durham International Postgraduate Summer School Eberhard-Karls University, Tübingen, September 17-23, 2018

The Tübingen-Durham International Postgraduate Summer School focuses on material artefacts as socio-cultural “triggers”. It aims to enhance research on the dynamics of discomforting pasts and narratives and the difficulties of putting discomforting objects on display.

Discomforting objects materialize societal conflicts and therefore initiate debates in the fields of research and public policy. Discomforting pasts are unavoidable, regardless of how much societies seek to suppress, ignore or forget them. The legacies of colonialism and the National Socialist regime, as well as more recent histories of terrorism, division, persecution, and migration, trouble national narratives and self-understandings. The discomforting pasts, which societies and museums must come to terms with, are as complex as the range of discomforting objects in which these pasts are embodied.

We examine Discomforting Objects in three interdisciplinary approaches:

The Summer School closes with a presentation of participants research objects in a mini exhibition.

Download the Program and the Poster