ESF Scientific Programme: Representations of the Past
Representations of the Past: The Writing of National Histories in Europe
Main Menu
About Us
Research Teams
NHIST Newsletter
Other Activities
Summer School
Cooperative Partners
Country of origin of scholars contributing to the NHIST programme
Welcome to the ESF NHIST programme homepage!
National history is central to national identity. A sustained and systematic study of the construction, erosion and reconstruction of national histories across a wide variety of European states is a highly topical and extremely relevant exercise for two reasons: firstly, because of the long and successful history of the national paradigm in history-writing; and, secondly, because of its re-emergence as a powerful political tool in the 1990s in the context of the accelerating processes of Europeanisation and globalisation.  National histories form an important part of the collective memory of the peoples of Europe.

National bonds have been, and continue to be, among the strongest bonds of loyalty. A genuinely trans-national and comparative investigation into the structures and workings of national histories will play an important part both in understanding the diversity of national histories in Europe and preparing the way for further dialogue and understanding among European nation-states.
Summer School
In June/July 2008 NHIST has organized a Summer School in Kőszeg/Hungary. The school brought together representatives of NHIST, external scholars such as Catherine Hall (University College London) and Benedikt Stuchtey (German Historical Institute London) as well as younger researchers who are occupied with the history of historiography.

The Summer School provided an opportunity to promote the results of the NHIST programme to the next generation of academics across Europe and to identify new projects and researchers in the history of historiography using comparative and cultural transfer approaches. It allowed delegates from 16 European countries to interact and exchange knowledge and experience across generations and develop their themes and approaches.

The section includes the abstracts of the delegates as well as a report on the summer school.
NHIST Final Conference 23-25 October 2008
After extremely productive years the NHIST programme is coming to an end. The programme's termination will be celebrated in final conference that will draw together the research activities of the programme and will provide an opportunity for members of the four research teams and guests to discuss their work. We will also be formally launching the Writing the Nation Series, published in six volumes by Palgrave Macmillan. The final NHIST-conference is to be held in Manchester between 23 and 25 October 2008.
NHIST-Related Bibliographies
We have asked all the researchers within the NHIST network to send us bibliographical details of their publications which are NHIST-related. We divide the publications in those produced since the beginning of the programme in 2003 and those produced before 2003. We hope that the compiled bibliography will be useful for NHIST researchers and other colleagues interested in the comparative history of historiography: NHIST related bibliographiesImage
Top Ten Histories
One of the questions often discussed within the NHIST programme is whether a list of canonical national histories for each of the European countries can be provided. Although many participants in the NHIST programme are sceptical about such lists, we have asked NHIST scholars to give us a list of their top ten national histories for their country or countries of expertise. In making their choice, we asked them to take into account the influence and general importance of these national histories on the historical profession and the wider society. We publish the replies we have received from a range of different scholars at the homepage's general download section. You can also download the replies document directly here: Top Ten HistoriesImage
Workshop reports 2006 and 2007
Reports for the workshops held during 2006 and 2007 for each of the four NHIST research teams are now available on the website. The workshops were deemed extremely productive by the NHIST Programme Chair, Professor Stefan Berger, providing opportunity for constructive feedback to be given to all contributors in each team. It also allowed encouraged the development of a common approach and a refining of the central themes of the NHIST programme. Details of each team workshop can be found on the appropriate download section of this website.