Book Spotlight

Book Launch: Outsourcing the European Past – An Interscalar Study of Memory and Morality

Author: Thomas Van de Putte

Book cover

This book investigates the entanglement of memory and morality in an extended case study of the memory policy of the European Commission between 2014 and 2020. The main empirical aim is to provide an understanding of how the European Commission, various non-governmental intermediary institutions (including the Memory Studies Association and Euroclio) and, in the end, participants in policy projects, attribute meaning to the past and connect that past with specific norms and values.

The book queries how the European Commission turns more general cultural memories into concrete moral discourses in its memory policy; how these policies are institutionally operationalised; what draws these institutions to the European Commission’s memory policy; and what happens when individual citizens are exposed to the outcomes of those policy projects.

Theoretically, Outsourcing the European Past  integrates theories from cultural sociology, political science, cultural studies and sociolinguistics in an innovative theory of memory.

The Author: Thomas Van de Putte, PhD, is Postdoctoral Researcher at King’s College London. His first book, Contemporary Auschwitz/Oswiecim: a synchronic, interactional approach to collective memory was published in 2021. He works on questions of cultural and collective Holocaust memory, combining perspectives from sociology, linguistics and cultural studies.

For more information about the book, please visit: Outsourcing the European Past : An Interscalar Study of Memory and Morality | SpringerLink

Join the book launch and panel discussion of ‘Outsourcing the European Past. An Interscalar Study of Memory and Morality’ (Palgrave, 2024).

How do EU institutions shape the way we think about the European past in its policies? Which historical events and moral meanings are central to these policies? And how do citizens interact with these policy projects? In ‘Outsourcing the European Past’, Thomas Van de Putte investigates how the European Commission shapes memory policies, how NGOs administer these policies with grant money, and how citizens interact with the end products of these policy projects.

In this panel discussion, they will be discussing the findings of Van de Putte’s new book.

Everyone is welcome to attend. The event will be followed by a wine reception.


  • Prof Ben Rampton, King’s College London


  • Prof Sara Jones, University of Birmingham
  • Prof Constadina Charalambous, European University Cyprus

LOCATION: River Room (2nd Floor), King’s College London, Strand Campus, WC2R 2LS

For more information, and registration to the event please visit:Select tickets – Book Launch: Outsourcing the European Past – An Interscalar Study of Memory and Morality – River Room (2nd Floor), King’s College London, Strand Campus (