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.
List of contributors
1. Prefiguring future by constructing history (Introduction)
2. Analogy, Allegory and Anachronism
3. The Subversive Power of Historical Analogies
Antoon De Baets
4. The Tapestry of History: Parallels, Analogies, Metaphors
5. Driving with the rearview mirror? Historical analogies and European foreign policy
6. Handing over memories: The transnationalisation of memorials and the construction of collective memory in post-war and postcolonial Hong Kong
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