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Research The Groningen Research Institute for the Study of Culture (ICOG) Research Research centres Research Centre for Historical Studies (CHS)

CHS discussion on public history: Groningen’s involvement in a slavery past

When:Mo 06-05-2024 16:00 - 17:30
Where:Room 1315.0042, Harmonie building

Last February, two publications were presented that show how closely historical research is intertwined with social developments and debates in the present. The presentation of a thoroughly revised and expanded 4th edition of Sporen van het slavernijverleden in Groningen, (Traces of the Slaverypast in Groningen, city & region, first edition 2016) took place at the Museum aan de A, where the King's Commissioner accepted one of the first copies, offering veiled apologies for the role played by his provincial predecessors.

This was followed a few days later by the presentation of De slavernijgeschiedenis van Groningen, focusing on the role of city government, at the town hall. This time the first copy was accepted by the mayor. Based on this report, the city council will take the decision to apologise for their role in slavery, probably before Keti Koti this year. Simultaneously, the city council has announced that there will be two monuments commemorating this painful history of Groningen's involvement in Dutch colonisation in different parts of the world.

For this gathering of the CHS, we are happy to reflect on the significance of such projects both for wider social discussion, and for the kind of knowledge that can enrich academic practice and interdisciplinary collaboration within the university. We also hope to create a consensus that the role of Groningen University and people connected to this institution also need to be researched and made public. We look forward to a lively discussion following our findings this far.

Moderators: Anjana Singh & Barbara Henkes