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Leibniz Research Alliance

A network of partners who explore the value that societies attach to the past, both throughout history and in the present day.

About the Leibniz Alliance

In the political and social disputes about the interpretation of the past, the "value of the past" has become a resource of cultural self‐reassurance and a battleground of identity. Values find their justification above all through history and may be understood as a "regulative idea" of societies undergoing historical change. They are attributes and qualities ascribed to things that are singled out as cultural heritage due to their social recognition and valorisation. At the same time, values always define belonging and otherness, sameness and difference, serving to build communities and to exclude others. 

The aim of the Leibniz Research Alliance is to inquire into the value that societies attach to the past, both throughout history and in the present day. The alliance analyses processes of value creation as well as competing values in order to reveal the privilege of historical interpretation and the historicity of values. The research alliance has three overarching perspectives: it investigates the transformation of regimes of evidence, of conceptions of space and time and modes of appropriating history that represent fundamental categories for dealing with the past and the impact and influence of history. These three research foci will form three research hubs, each of them hosting up to three research labs for two 2‐year periods. 

21 Leibniz‐Institutes and 39 external national and international partners take part in the network and joint research activities. The alliance will bring together historical scholarship, cultural studies and historically informed social and life sciences, as well as museums, collections, archives and representatives of memorial sites and other fields of public history.   

Key contact at Newcastle University: Dr Susannah Eckersley  

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences