Historical Parallels, Commemoration and Icons  book cover
1st Edition

Historical Parallels, Commemoration and Icons

Edited By

Andreas Leutzsch

ISBN 9780367660598
Published September 30, 2020 by Routledge
220 Pages

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Book Description

Historical parallels, analogies, anachronisms and metaphors to the past play a crucial role in political speeches, historical narratives, iconography, movies and newspapers on a daily basis. They frame, articulate and represent a specific understanding of history and can be used not only to construct but also to rethink historical continuity. Almost-forgotten or sleeping history can be revived to legitimize an imagined future in a political discourse today.

History can hardly be neutral or factual because it depends on the historian’s, as well the people’s, perspective as to what kind of events and sources they combine to make history meaningful. Analysing historical analogies – as embedded in narratives and images of the past – enables us to understand how history and collective memory are managed and used for political purposes and to provide social orientation in time and space.

To rethink theories of history, iconology and collective memory, the authors of this volume discuss a variety of cases from Hong Kong, China and Europe.

Table of Contents

List of contributors

1. Prefiguring future by constructing history (Introduction)

Andreas Leutzsch

2. Analogy, Allegory and Anachronism

Peter Burke

3. The Subversive Power of Historical Analogies

Antoon De Baets

4. The Tapestry of History: Parallels, Analogies, Metaphors

Javier Fernández-Sebastián

5. Driving with the rearview mirror? Historical analogies and European foreign policy

Roland Vogt

6. Handing over memories: The transnationalisation of memorials and the construction of collective memory in post-war and postcolonial Hong Kong

Andreas Leutzsch

7. The Sieve of Memory: Chinese Coming to Terms with the Past and Parallels in European Cultures of Remembrance

C. K. Martin Chung

8. Generational conflict in context of the Cultural Revolution in Chinese movies since 1990

Barbara von der Lühe


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Andreas Leutzsch is a historian and social scientist who holds a PhD from Bielefeld University. He has worked as Researcher and (Visiting) Professor in China, Hong Kong, Germany, Russia and Uzbekistan. His research in global studies and theory of history was awarded the A.SK Social Science Award Fellowship by the Berlin Social Science Center (WZB) in 2007.