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Memory & Contemporary: Themes, Questions, and Contexts

Memory & Countermemory: Memorialization of an Open Future

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Haunting Memory
  • How do physical and emotional harms impact memory?
  • How does coming to terms with the past shape narratives and strategies of memorialization, monuments, and museums?
  • What is the relationship between memorializing of the past on behalf of victims and narrating the past for the sake of the present?
Memory and the Historical Past
  • Given the fact that memory is usually inseparable from internal conflict, how can people in the present resolve their internal conflict about the past?
  • What are the psychological resources available to dealing with trauma? How can we remember without homogenizing histories and idolizing seamless heritages?
Memory and the Future
  • How does memory shape the future of an individual or a group?
  • Which or whose memory makes our future possible, open, and hopeful?
  • Can trans-generational memory transform uninhabitable places and difficult times that were weighted down by haunting legacies and conflicted heritages?
  • Can succeeding generations remember human possibility without redemptive consolations of victory marches, monuments, museums, and other conventional ways of generating “cheap grace?”
  • The academic context: developments and newly emerging fields of shared questions in Holocaust Studies, Postcolonial Studies, Genocide Studies, East European Studies, Memory Studies, and Trauma Studies.
  • The public context: memory at war, representations of memory, contested sites of museums, memorials, monuments, memoirs, and public discourses.
  • The cultural context: the memory of the victims, readings of the past that shape our present and future, liberating narratives and movements in art, architecture, literature, performance, and theory.