On 7 and 9 July 2016 an international conference was organised in the framework of COST Action IS1205 “Social psychological dynamics of historical representations in the enlarged European Union.” EuroClio Ambassadors Mare Oja and Harri Beobide, who represented the Basque Network of Schools (Ikastolen Elkartea), had the possibility to join this conference in Limerick. The conference had 3 main objectives: 1. To create interdisciplinary dialogue between participants from different fields (particularly between social psychologists and historians) and national contexts, 2. To disseminate research findings on core themes of interest: the interplay between social representations of history or collective memories, social identities, and inter-group relations. 3. To generate knowledge and discussions between academics and stakeholders on relevant research findings regarding national histories, political mobilization, psychological resistance, coping mechanisms, and the transmission of collective memories. Interesting topics were the discussion on how to teach sensitive topics in history, analyze findings from textbooks, but also “music and dance as a markers of national identity in Ireland and beyond”
The ambassadors both gave presentations in the pre-conference workshop on dissemination “Engaging with Refugees”. It was a one day meeting, bringing together social scientists and relevant stakeholders dealing with the issues of inclusion, marginalization, human rights, and education. Mare Oja introduced the EuroClio mission and the Manifesto which made a link to the presentation “Teaching sensitive topics in the classroom without conflict. Examples from Estonia”. Harri Beobide introduced the next annual conference of EuroClio, which will take place in San Sebastian, and is co-organised by the Basque Network of Schools. She also introduced an example on how sensitive topics are taught in the Basque country.
People who participated in the COST project were very happy with that approach – to build bridges between different subject fields and research topics. Most of the current projects will be finished soon. It will be interesting read about results and have them as the base of the future research.