How are experiences of the American founding times received, transformed, memorialized and used in EU political debates today ? My project seeks to focus on historiographical processes that are at stake when one builds a history of EU integration which often refers to narratives, figures and representations inherited from the history of the United States (“United States of Europe”, “Founding Fathers of Europe”, etc.) to build an after WWII continuous narrative.
These dominant historiographies, centered on Western European histories and figures, have recently been questioned by new member-states’ MEPs and public figures coming from Central and Eastern Europe.
Museums, official exhibitions and textbooks on the EU are usually seen as institutional tools that avoids rupture, discontinuities and heterogeneity. Far from avoiding to make any references to US history or figures, how do American museums or debates on public memorials question representations of timelines and historical processes as regards to foundation times? What role do we assigned to these public spaces when engaging this debate? How to deal today with silenced voices when building founding narratives and figures, in the US or for the EU?