Holocaust and Postcolonialism: Germany's Past and Future Memory Culture

A Conversation with Professor Michael Rothberg (UCLA) and Professor Alison Landsberg (Mason) [Virtual Zoom Event]

Wednesday, October 13, 2021 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM

Holocaust and Postcolonialism: Germany's Past and Future Memory Culture

Registration required to receive a Zoom link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/holocaust-postcolonialism-germanys-past-future-memory-culture-talk-tickets-170319613549

 

A virtual event sponsored by the GMU Center for Humanities Research, the German Embassy in Washington, and the GMU German Program at MCL, this discussion will illuminate the unique memory culture that evolved in Germany after the end of the Second World War. Over the last seven decades, successive generations of Germans have spurred their country to confront the crimes of the Holocaust, when the Nazi regime murdered six million Jews, millions of POWs, hundreds of thousands of Roma and Sinti, and hundreds of thousands of people with disabilities. While Germany boasts numerous monuments and memorials commemorating these crimes and generally eschews more traditional displays of national pride, critics of its memory culture have begun to question whether that memory culture has allowed Germans to ignore colonial crimes and neoimperialism that continues to this day. Michael Rothberg, Chair of the Department of Comparative Literature at UCLA and an authority on Holocaust memory, will engage in a conversation with Alison Landsberg, Director of the Mason Center for Humanities Research and an expert in the field of memory studies, about the history of German memory culture, where it is headed, and what lessons it might have for the United States.

 

The conversation will focus on four key questions.

- How has memory of the Holocaust evolved in Germany since the end of World War II?

- How did postcolonialism and German memory culture influence each other?

- How has the debate over the German genocide of the Herero and Nama people in present-day Namibia shaped and been shaped by German memory culture, in particular through the Catechism Debate that has played out over the last several months?

- What lessons does German memory culture have for how the United States remembers and memorializes its past?

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