About the event ?
In 2019, we commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Liberation of Belgium and the 50th anniversary of CegeSoma. Indeed, CegeSoma was created in 1969 as the Belgian center of expertise for the study of the Second World War. In time, the Centre for Historical Research and Documentation on War and Society (CegeSoma) was given a broader scope of research. The colloquium of 10 December 2019 at the Senate is, so to speak, the apotheosis of this double anniversary.
In 2019, the public seems to have become increasingly interested in the Second World War. But what about historiography and its sources? What are the gaps in our knowledge about this last major worldwide conflict? Which lessons can be learned today from this past? Is the Second World War a moral reference or just another historical topic? Is historiography under pressure from a culture of commemoration prone to spectacle? Can public history bridge the gap between research and society? Let us find out, 75 years after the Liberation, and dare to look into the future.
In the course of the morning session, experts from the Netherlands and France will take the floor and a special edition of the 'Journal of Belgian History' will be presented. The afternoon session is dedicated to two debates with the most distinguished Belgian experts.
9.15 am - Arrival and registration
Chairman of the colloquium : Fabrice Maerten (Head of the valorisation of the collections
of the CegeSoma/State Archives)
10.00 am - Welcome address
Stijn Bex (Second Vice-President of the Senate)
Luc Mabille (Director of the strategy group for the Minister of Budget and Public Service,
in charge of the National Lottery and Science Policy)
Laurence Van Ypersele (UCL, Chairwoman of the scientific committee of CegeSoma)
10.20 am - 75 years of history of the Second World War in Belgium
Nico Wouters (Head of CegeSoma/State Archives)
10.50 am - Keynotes from the Netherlands and France
Ismee Tames (NIOD-Amsterdam): 'WOII vandaag: bedenkingen bij de spanningen tussen
het onderzoek, het beleid en het publiek'. ('WWII today: Reflections on the tensions between
the research community, policymakers and the public').
Cécile Vast (Musée de la Résistance et de la Déportation de Besançon) : 'L'écriture de l'histoire
de l'Occupation à la lumière des archives de chercheurs'. ('Historiography of the Occupation
through the researcher's archives').
11.45 am - Lunch Break - Sandwich buffet
1.00 pm - Debat I : Historiography and society
Host: Dirk Luyten (Head of Research at CegeSoma/State Archives)
Panel: Sophie De Schaepdrijver (Penn State University), Pieter Lagrou (ULB),
Bruno De Wever (UGent) and Pierre-Alain Tallier (State Archives).
1.50 pm - Debat II : Public history and public debate
Host: Chantal Kesteloot (Head of Public History at CegeSoma)
Panel: Franky Bostyn (WHI), José Gotovitch (ULB), Koen Aerts (UGent),
Anne Roekens (UNamur).
2.40 pm - Plenary Debate
3.30 pm - Conclusions - Karel Velle (Director-General of the State Archives of Belgium)
4.00 pm - 5.00 pm - Reception