Issue ID: 10
Interrogating Europe’s Voids of Memory: Trauma Theory and Holocaust Remembrance between the National and the Transnational
Reflecting on the research process for Holocaust Remembrance between the National and the Transnational (HRNT), which explores and analyzes the significance of the European and global politics of the commemoration of the Holocaust and Nazi-era crimes in the late 1990s and 2000s, this article will consider the influence of the intellectual context of trauma theory for this book. It will offer a response to the increasing critique of Eurocentric trauma theory which developed during the period spent researching the Stockholm International Forum (SIF 2000) and the first decade of the Task Force for International Co-operation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research (ITF, now the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, IHRA). This article will discuss how a revised trauma theory, along the lines suggested by scholars such as Joshua Pederson, continues to offer important possibilities for European studies of the histories and memories of the Holocaust in singular and comparative terms.
This article explores the politics of Holocaust memorialization by examining the intersection of education, commemoration and national identity in 21st-century Britain since the inaugural Holocaust Memorial Day in 2001. The article shows how institutionalized spheres have intersected with contemporary cultural discourse surrounding questions of civic morality, immigration and the memory of other genocides. The main argument put forward is that the way in which the Holocaust has been indelibly associated with these issues has both implicitly and explicitly connected Holocaust discourse to contemporary debates on what constitutes British identity in the 21st century. The article also suggests that highly domesticated narratives of the period are often used to promote a self-congratulatory notion of British identity and supposed British exceptionalism.
Drawing on Rey Chow’s notion of entanglement and Michael Rothberg’s work on multidirectional memory, I look at the ways in which certain visual, lexical, and historical representations and tropes operate to create points of connection between the Shoah and contemporary migration to Italy across the Mediterranean. I argue that the deployment of these images is not intended to indicate similarities, or indeed, dissimilarities, between historical events. The network of association which is produced offers a space in which to critically and creatively interrogate past and present, and their possible interconnections. I then analyze in detail the work of novelist, Igiaba Scego, and film-maker, Dagmawi Yimer, to uncover an entanglement bringing together cultural memories of the Shoah, and silenced histories of Italian colonialism to indict political and cultural practices informing responses to death by drowning in the Mediterranean.
Rhetorics of Belonging
Nation, Narration, and Israel/Palestine
This paper investigates how, if, and to what extent the Jewish Community of Rome interacts with the commemoration of other acts of genocide, mass killing, and ethnic cleansing. I focus mostly on the Armenian genocide, the Rwandan genocide, and the Nazi extermination of Romani people, and I analyze how the Jewish community has been in dialogue with these communities and their memory practices. As an introduction, I discuss the little-known story of the unmade Museo delle Intolleranze e degli Stermini [Museum of Intolerances and Exterminations], which was planned in the late 1990s to be built in the capital city of Italy. In the conclusion, I highlight how we can speak of a ‘kaleidoscopic’ memorial world of the Jewish community of Rome that includes several different acts of commemoration and memory practices.