Histcon.se Time, Memory and Representation Tid, Minne, Representation

A Multidisciplinary Program on Transformations in Historical Consciousness

Ett mångdisciplinärt forskningsprogram om historiemedvetandets förvandlingar

David Gaunt

Professor emeritus in History, Södertörn University


Born 1944 in London, England. Professor emeritus in history, Center for Baltic and East European Studies, Södertörn University. Ph.D. Uppsala University 1975. Member of the Academy of Europe section for history and archeology. Member of the editorial board of Social History and International Genocide Studies. Member of the Workshop for Armenian-Turkish Studies.

Ongoing research

The project will seek to interpret how the story of minorities affects traditional historical narratives. This is particularly clear in the case of the Black population of the U. S. where the history of slavery and racial discrimination is increasingly integrated into textbooks. In Europe the experience of the Jewish minority is slowly being placed into national contexts. Similar integrative changes and general concern can be seen for the Saami, while the history of the largest European minority, the Roma, has yet to make a mark in the national narratives. Since the 1980s the writing of multicultural history has increasing bearing on the national history. The case of the Polish town of Jedwabne is representative. Here Poles killed their Jewish neighbours in July 1941. This realization has shattered the Polish self-image as an innocent society that did not participate in the holocaust. Critical debates over the eradication of minorities in Ottoman times are explosive inside Turkey. We can discern several forms of treating minorities: Multicultural in which each culture writes its own story with little interconnection. Tolerant nation in which there is a dominant socio/cultural frame and the minorities are subordinate. Ethnic-territorial Imperative in which state marginalizes the minorities within the territory that the state claims. The task of the study is to critically thematize and combine case studies with more principal arguments concerning the way politics and public debate challenge historiography.


Selected bibliography

– "Failed Identity and the Assyrian Genocide”, in Omer Bartov & Eric Weitz (red). Shatterzone of Empires: Coexistence and Violence in the German, Habsburg, Russian, and Ottoman Borderlands (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2013), 317-333.

– “The Culture of Inter-Religious Violence in Anatolian Borderlands in the Late Ottoman Emprire” in Winifried Speitkamp, ed., Gewaltsgemeinschaften: Von der Spätantike bis ins 20. Jahrhundert (Göttingen: V & R, 2013), 251-273.

– Co-editor with Naures Atto and Soner Under, Seyfo: the 1915 Genocide of the Assyrians, Syriacs and Chaldeans (submitted to Berghahn publishers)

– “Relations between Kurds and Syriacs and Assyrians in Late Ottoman Diyarbekir” in Joost Jongerden & Jelle Verheij (eds), Social Relations in Ottoman Diyarbekir, 1870-1925 (Leiden: Brill, 2012), 241-266. This is now being translated into Turkish for Bilgi University Press.

– “Enforcing a Bystander Regime during Genocide”, in Henrik Edgren (ed.) Looking at the Onlookers and Bystanders (Stockholm: Forum för levande historia, 2012), 143-166.

– “Folkmordet på armenierna”, Respons 2012:2, 44-46.

– “Reichskommisariat Ostland” in Jonathan Friedman ed., The Routledge History of the Holocaust (London: Routledge, 2011), 216-227.

– “The Ottoman Treatment of the Assyrians” in Ronald Grigor Suny, Fatma Muge Göcek, Norman Naimark, eds., A Question of Genocide 1915: Armenians and Turks at the End of the Ottoman Empire (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), 244-259.

– ”Picknic in Kurdistan” in Hans Ruin and Andrus Ers (eds.) Rethinking Time: Essays in History, Memory and Representation (Huddinge: Södertörn, 2011)

– “Introduction”, in Jonathan Dekel-Chen, David Gaunt, Natan Meir & Israel Bartal eds., Anti-Jewish Violence – Rethinking the Pogrom in East European History (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2010)

– ”Qirkirina asuriyan”, Le Monde diplomatique kurdi 2010:7, 14-15.

– ”Christian Settlements and Population in Bohtan in Late Ottoman Times” i Nesim Doru (red.) Uluslararasi Şirnak ve Çevresi Sempozyumu Bildirileri (Şirnak 2010), 845-854.

– ”Identity Conflicts among Oriental Christians in Sweden” in Sens [public] Revue internationale, 2010. This is a French internet journal.

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