Vanessa Tautter
ifk Junior Fellow Abroad

Duration of fellowship
01. October 2022 bis 30. June 2023

Fellow Abroad

01. October 2023 bis 30. June 2024

Negotiating Violent Pasts from an 'Implicated' Position. An Oral History of Experiencing Memory Change in Austria and Northern Ireland, 1980 to the Present


This Ph.D. project explores diverse memories of »implication« in histories of violence in the context of memory changes in Europe since the 1980s. It uses oral histories conducted in Austria (on memories of Nazism and World War II) and Northern Ireland (on memories of the Northern Ireland conflict) as case studies to establish how those socialized in previously more dominant memory cultures compose their own and/or their family’s life stories. It further reflects on histories of »implication« in relation to these wider cultural shifts, and how they negotiate politically charged meanings of the past between »private« and »public« spheres. The project examines emotional responses to these changes, which were often experienced as challenging to subjectivities, identities, and family histories, as well as memory work taking place in the private arena of the family. By doing so, the project seeks to understand political mobilizations of such »private« memories and aims to create space for the critical study of heterogeneous cultures of implication and perpetration—and their meanings for society in the present day.


Vanessa Tautter is a Ph.D. researcher at the Centre for Memory, Narrative, and Histories at the University of Brighton with a focus on oral history, memory, and cultural studies. Tautter’s Ph.D. project critically explores heterogeneous memories of implication in violent histories and related experiences of memory change in Europe since the 1980s, using Austria and Northern Ireland as case studies.


»Ethics of Listening. Between Criticism and Empathy in Oral History Interviews and in Politically Charged Research Contexts«, in: Antonia Vaughan, Joan Braune, Meghan Tinsley, Aurelien Mondon (eds.), The Ethics of Researching the Far Right, Manchester 2022 (forthcoming); »A 'Shitstorm' of Emotion. Discomposure, Commemoration, and the Austrian Populist Right on Facebook«, in: Francesco Zavatti, Andrej Kotljarchuk (eds.), Far Right Memory Politics in the Internet Era, Uppsala 2022 (forthcoming); »Interpreting a Divided Past. The Function of History Education in Memory Conflict«, in: Barbara Metzler, Julia Himmelsbach, Diotima Bertel, Daniela Schmid, Nora Grohs, and Philipp Nigitsch (eds.), (Deutungs-)Macht des Öffentlichen, Vienna 2021, pp. 177–92.

05 June 2023
  • Lecture
IFK & IFK@Zoom
Vanessa Tautter

The »Reverse Side« of the Memory Boom?

Since the 1980s and 1990s, European memory cultures have increasingly begun to focus on the experiences of historically victimised, marginalised and oppressed people. In this context, however, this lecture critically explores the »reverse side« of this memory boom: the experiences of those who used to identify with previously dominant memory paradigms.