Dr. Eric Hadley to present at the 62nd Annual Meeting of the Society for French Historical Studies
Nashville TN, 3-6 March 2016
Panel title: Historical Memory: Commemoration, Spectacle, Denial
Paper Topic: “St. Roch Processionals in Rural Belgium, Past Versus Present: Historical Memory, Commemoration and Identity Construction”
Dr. Eric Hadley’s presentation centered on the evolution of saint/military processionals in Belgium (from 1638 to the present). Participants share in the creation of historical memory, infuse the festival with notions of local identity and socialization and create new narratives that legitimize contemporary ritual elements and participant costuming. The paper explores the tension between the ancient pre-French Revolutionary era processionals, the reconstruction of the saint processionals during the 1860s and post-World War II standardization of these processionals in their present-day, UNESCO-recognized form.