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Lecture Explores the Use and Abuse of History

3/19/2008 —

Dr. Brian McKenzie, assistant professor of History at Kutztown University, will address the campus community with his talk, Commemorating: The Use and Abuse of History. The lecture will be held at 1 p.m. on Monday, March 24, in the Atrium of Penn State Lehigh Valley in Fogelsville.  

The creation of public holidays and commemoration ceremonies will be discussed. When is an event deemed to be worthy of state-sanctioned commemoration?  What is the purpose of commemoration ceremonies—“remembrance,” a call to action, or something else?  By asking these questions in the context of 20th century Ireland, McKenzie argues that commemorations are a perfect example of what the German Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche called the “use and abuse of history.”   

Dr. McKenzie received a B.A. from Western Michigan University and attended the State University of New York at Stony Brook where he completed a Ph.D. in European history.  His first book, Remaking France: Americanization, Public Diplomacy, and the Marshall Plan, was published in 2005 and is now in paperback. His current research focuses on the politics of commemoration in the Republic of Ireland. 

The lecture is open to the public and free of charge.

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