University of Portsmouth, 15-16 April 2015
Narratives, or ways of telling stories about history, identity and culture, are powerful tools. They can serve to legitimate or contest regimes, facilitate or undermine social and cultural cohesion, and influence notions of identity and otherness. They are cultural constructs, created by state and societal actors, individuals and groups, sometimes deliberately with a political goal in mind, sometimes unintentionally and implicitly.
A variety of actors have developed such narratives for Europe as a cultural space and for the present-day European Union as an economic and political entity. Analyzing these stories told in the past or in the present, about the past, the present and the future of Europe and the European Union, can provide crucial insights into the actors promoting them, their motivations and objectives, and about the stories themselves, their focus and forms of narration and their dissemination across borders in Europe. Narratives thus are a very fruitful subject for analyzing the history and current state of Europe and the European integration.
This conference will explore the various forms in which Europe and European integration has been and is narrated, be they discourses or exhibitions, speeches or symbolism.