Ladies and gentlemen,
it has been my 6th CISH Congress since 1995 in Montreal and by far the one that has taken place in the most dramatic circumstances. After a two-year-long pandemic and the attack on Ukraine, it has been quite an achievement that the 23rd congress of CISH-ICHS has been successfully concluded. The local organizing committee has done a tremendous job in providing the participants with optimal conditions and exquisite hospitality. It is not the time and place to analyze in detail the topics that the distinguished historians have been discussing and the approaches to the past developed during the fruitful five days of the congress. There are so many lessons learned that will take up some time to digest and really understand. New conceptual ways to understand how to make sense of the complexities of the past have been proposed and discussed. The major themes have focused on relevant aspects of the contemporary perception of the world, human and non-human. The enduring perception that history must have a global perspective has been discussed, although with an increasing interest in forms of coexistence that emphasize diversity and peculiarity rather than the homogeneity inherent in the notion of globality. We will all have time to reflect on these topics, and with the insightful thoughts shared with us by the distinguished speakers at the opening ceremony, prof. Olufunke Adeboye, prof. Dipesh Chakrabarty and prof. Ewa Domanska, and by the CISH-ICHS laureate prof. Sanjay Subrahmanyam.
Let me, however, recall something that has been prominent in the previous week. The first remark comes from the prize that has been awarded for the best poster. I don’t want to comment on the quality of the posters, which, by the way, is excellent. I want to draw your attention once again to the fact that the future is indeed founded on the past and knowing the past is essential for living a good life. But it is also important to give the past and the people who study the past a bright future. Acknowledging the merits of young scholars is crucial to our discipline. The 23rd congress of CISH-ICHS has done an excellent job in that respect.
The second remark is that the extraordinarily heartfelt hospitality of our colleagues at the Uniwersytet Adama Mickiewicza restored a sense of community, of oikumene of the historians, that the long pandemic and the tragic events not far from here had eclipsed.
It has been refreshing to enjoy the company of so many bright fellow historians and restore a much-needed sense of community among kindred spirits.
Therefore: Dziękuję bardzo i do zobaczenia w Jerozolimie.
Poznań, August 27, 2022
The Board of CISH would like to inform of its intention to promote the participation of as many Ukrainian historians as possible in the Congress, with the dedication of 10,000 Swiss Francs from its Solidarity Fund to that end.
The Board recommends that the local organizers arrange a round table to investigate topics from Ukrainian and Russian history in order to facilitate a historical discussion of the current situation for the general public.
For more information, please visit Poznań 2020/2022 official website: https://ichs2020poznan.pl/en/
The Board of CISH has been informed about your decision—“in accordance with the decision of the Polish Ministry of Education and Science and following the appeal to Polish academics and intellectual elites in connection with Russia’s aggression against Ukraine”—to cease official collaboration with research and higher education institutions of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus. At the same time, you have emphasized that your objection “concerns the actions of the politicians and governments, it is not targeted at people of Russian and Belarusian nationality.”
The Board of CISH expresses full agreement with you that the invasion of Ukraine is a brutal violation of human rights. The Board of CISH has carefully analyzed the current situation and declares that it stands with you in this decision.
As a consequence, official participation of the National Committee of Historians of the Russian Federation and the Russian universities in the 2022 Congress will not be possible. Historians based at universities and institutes of higher education and research in the Russian Federation may therefore participate in our Congress only as unaffiliated scholars.
Furthermore, the Board of CISH would like to inform you of its intention to promote the participation of as many Ukrainian historians as possible in the Congress, with the dedication of 10,000 Swiss Francs from its Solidarity Fund to that end. The Board recommends further that the local organizers arrange a round table to investigate topics from Ukrainian and Russian history in order to facilitate a historical discussion of the current situation for the general public.
The Board of CISH would like to thank in particular the Rector of AMU, the Polish Academy of the Sciences, and the local organizers for the efficient and constructive collaboration with the Board of CISH in these very difficult times.
As the world’s largest organization of historians, the Comité International des Sciences Historiques (CISH) – International Committee of Historical Sciences (ICHS) includes national and topical history organizations from all continents and covering all time periods.
Our purpose is to defend freedom of thought and expression in the field of historical research and teaching and oppose the misuse of history for whatever purpose.
As such, we strongly condemn the abuse of history employed by President Putin in rationalizing Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. History is not owned by states or rulers, and we deplore the use of history to foster enemy images and distorted myths.
Freedom of thought and expression requires dialogue and means that our identities and communities are subject to revision and change.
We stand by our member organizations from the Russian Federation and Ukraine in support of open and free dissemination of historical sources and open and free discussions about interpretations and narratives.
The Board of CISH- ICHS
Due to the global pandemic, the 6th World Conference of the International Federation for Public History, originally planned for August 2020, had to be postponed twice. A new Call for Papers has been issued.
There is no specific conference theme and no focus on a particular historical era. Proposals covering a wide range of public history are welcome, such as: Public History practice and civic engagement, Memory, Digital, Media, Performance, Professional issues.
The deadline for all proposals is 31 January 2022.
Guidelines and further information can be found on https://www.ifph2020.berlin.
In line with its tradition and with significant support from generous sponsors, the Organizing Committee of the XXIII International Congress of Historical Sciences Poznań 2020/2022 has established a Solidarity Fund for historians who would like to participate in the Congress.
Support will be given in the form of:
a) free accommodation in Adam Mickiewicz University dormitories for 150 participants
b) a registration fee waiver for 100 participants
c) travel grants for 60 participants
The deadline for applications is January 31, 2022.
Please find all the information and contact details here: https://ichs2020poznan.pl/en/solidarity-fund/