INTRODUCTION This special issue originated at the Symposium on 'Social Memory and Historical Justice' held at Swinburne University in Melbourne, Australia as part of an international collaborative project of the same name. As isolated studies, each Symposium paper spoke of specific concerns and preoccupations in a vast and variegated field. They ranged from histories of colonialism and neo-colonialism in Australia and New Zealand to analyses of the Algerian War; from Argentina's Truth Commission to the bombing raids on German cities during the WWII, from Stalinism to the Holocaust. But, assembled and modified by debate, they worked, to our delight, against the 'hardening' of certain interpretative practices and paradigms within the field of social memory. (1) In its own distinctive way, each paper revealed how a series of questions brought up by an in-depth analysis of the articulation, mediation, circulation and reception of memories of a specific historical event in a variety of public spheres, could not be meaningfully addressed without a reaching-out to other contexts--to other presents and pasts.