The focus of this lecture will be devoted to the topic of memory and will examine the intersections between memory and diversity. In contemporary discourse, the dehistoricization and naturalization of diversity has often concealed the diverse roles of subjectivity and memory in the social construction of difference. At the same time, the official practices of commemorating like the Vietnam War, Pearl Harbor or 9/11 have not included diversity. Overlapping memories, hidden histories, suppressed stories, narratives from the margins, public rituals, private commemorations, and the unspeakable are both diversity’s causes as well as consequences. Different ethnic and racial groups have demanded that their memories be acknowledged. At the same time, the so-called transcultural turn in memory studies has shifted the focus to the ways in which memory, commemoration, shared practices of remembering travels across various boundaries and borders: of nation, ethnicity, time. This lecture aims at exploring the various entanglements of historical projections and representations of and from the past with contemporary discourses on difference and inclusion. Memory often figures as a theme in stories of diversity; it is also an important and contested temporal dimension that defines the politics, practices and narratives of diversity. From the construction of diasporic identities to family migration histories to the conflicted politics of remembering, memories shape diversity, be they in the form of shared memories, divided memories, conflicting memories or any other forms or practices of commemoration.
This lecture will be co-taught by Prof. Fellner and Dr. Pfalzgraf and will include a series of guest lectures. A reader of primary texts will be made available on Moodle.
There will be a course reader, which will be made available on Moodle.