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Introducing: Kenan van de Mieroop

Kenan van de Mieroop recently joined the Institute for History as Assistant Professor. Below, he introduces himself.

My name is Kenan Van De Mieroop and I am joining the history department as a temporary replacement for Prof. Herman Paul. I will be teaching the historical theory course in the MA program and other courses in the BA program. I am really looking forward to joining the history department at Leiden and getting to know my new colleagues.

My research is situated at the intersection of the theory of history and public history. It has focused primarily on contemporary conflicts over history and memory in multicultural societies. I approach this topic from the perspective of discussions in the theory of history on narrative and temporality, and in particular the work of Paul Ricoeur and Hayden White. I have also used techniques of narratological and discourse analysis to study forms of public history. My past work has focused on the so-called memory wars in France and the public history tradition of Black History Month in the United States. My doctoral dissertation studied debates about reparations for slavery in France and the United States from a comparative perspective. My current research builds upon this work and also moves into new directions both in terms of theoretical issues and empirical cases. This year I will be working on completing a book project that examines conceptions of time in the context of debates about reparations for slavery.

Alongside my research and teaching I was involved in setting up the 'International Network for Theory of History', which has now grown to become an important and widely known network of researchers in the field of the theory and philosophy of history. I also participated in organizing the establishment of a database of works in the theory of history. Together with my colleagues we compiled an online bibliography of over 20,000 works in the theory of history and catalogued them according to a taxonomic system that we developed around key terms in historical theory. The result is an open-source, database which provides a valuable corpus for quantitative and qualitative studies.

I read History and Politics at the University of Edinburgh and then obtained an MA and PhD from Ghent University in Belgium. Before coming to Leiden, I have held teaching positions at Ghent, University College London, Boğaziçi and Utrecht.

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