Next – Project
Nordbahnhof Reading Circle #1
08 October 2019
Vienna Wiesenthal Institute
Rabensteig 3, 1010 Wien, Austria
Text: Michael Rothberg, Multidirectional Memory: Remembering the Holocaust in the Age of Decolonization, Stanford University Press, 2009 (excerpt)
Host: Dani Gal, Artist-in-Residence at Blood Mountain Projects
Venue: Vienna Wiesenthal Institute Research Centre
Part of The Nordbahnhof Project, the Reading Circle is dedicated to the practice of historical research, the culture of remembrance and discursive exchange. Each session is hosted by a special guest, who selects a text of personal interest and leads the discussion in line with his or her current creative inquiry. The selection of various venues underpins the programme’s mission to attract diverse participants.
Abstract: Michael Rothberg’s Multidirectional Memory (2009) brings together Holocaust studies and postcolonial studies for the first time. Employing a comparative and interdisciplinary approach, the book makes a two-fold argument about Holocaust memory in a global age by situating it in the unexpected context of decolonisation. On the one hand, it demonstrates how the Holocaust has enabled the articulation of other histories of victimisation at the same time that it has been declared “unique” among human-perpetrated horrors. On the other, it uncovers the more surprising and seldom acknowledged fact that public memory of the Holocaust emerged in part thanks to postwar events that seem at first to have little to do with it. In particular, Multidirectional Memory highlights how ongoing processes of decolonisation and movements for civil rights in the Caribbean, Africa, Europe, the United States, and elsewhere unexpectedly galvanized memory of the Holocaust.