Over the last decades, memory studies as well as studies about populist politics, policies and politicians mushroomed, in both quality and quantity. Rarely, however, they are analysed in conjuncture, even though the practice of everyday societal life shows they coexist, correlate and intertwine. The overarching goal of this working group initiative is to develop a platform for interaction and exchange among scholars interested in memory studies as well as populism research in various forms and dimensions. Open to all relevant disciplines (history, political science, sociology, economics, cultural, literary and media studies, psychology and many more) it aims to establish a truly interdisciplinary network that enables us to better understand the sources, mechanisms and consequences of memory populist politics. At the same time, it strives to enrich the field of memory studies by incorporating and encouraging diversified points of view and innovative forms of academic analysis and engagement.
Public remembrance (and oblivion) is as much about recollecting the past as it is about shaping the present and the future of a political community. Consequently, a number of important questions emerge at the crossroads of these two areas of academic study: What are the mechanisms of remembering and forgetting in authoritarian and populist politics? How and why is it effective to inject memory into the political process? Who does it and why, expecting what effect? And what lessons can we draw from analysing the nexus between populism and memory? These questions may serve to exemplify the wide spectrum of topics and ideas that could be covered by initiatives under the umbrella of “Memory and Populism.” At the crossroads of populism and memory studies, we thus welcome scholars interested in probing concepts, methods and approaches, both familiar and innovative, suitable to address the challenges posed by the intriguing interaction between memory and populism from an interdisciplinary and transnational perspective.