Representing the Holocaust in an Age of Globalization (abstract deadline 9/1/2010)

full name / name of organization: 
Rick Crownshaw (Department of English and Comparative Literature, Goldsmiths, University of London)
contact email: 

Representing the Holocaust in an Age of Globalization

The Memory and Narrative series, currently published by Transaction (based at Rutgers University), emerged from the highly acclaimed International Yearbook for Oral History and Life Stories. To date, the series comprises 14 volumes, constituting an interdisciplinary forum that stimulates debate on a wide range of theoretical and methodological issues relating to memory and narrative. 

The series editors invite proposals for a forthcoming volume entitled Representing the Holocaust in an Age of Globalization

Representing the Holocaust in an Age of Globalization

In academic study the Holocaust has been wrested from arguments as to its incomparability. For example, recent groundbreaking work in historiography has sought to remove the 'conceptual blockages' (Moses, Stone) in comparing modern atrocities, moving beyond conceptualizations of the Holocaust's uniqueness that might inscribe a hierarchy of suffering across modernity. Such a comparative approach elicits the structural continuities and discontinuities between atrocious events – between, for example, genocide and colonial atrocity. In memory studies, related, current work has focused on the 'cosmopolitan' nature of Holocaust memory, arguing the ways that national, collective memory registers the transnational flux of remembrance, and how the global shapes the local and vice versa (Levy and Sznaider). However, in such models does the nation, no matter how 'glocalised', remain too coherent a structure for modeling the centrifugal dynamics of memory? Is the deterritorialization and reterritorialization of Holocaust memory still too centripetal a dynamic? And in such models, does the Holocaust eclipse other events with which it is compared or contiguous? So, a spatial approach to modernity's extremes and the correspondent ideas of race, nation and empire that allowed them to happen, together with the increasing difficulty of discretely locating history and memory, suggests a necessary reorientation of Holocaust Studies. More recently, Holocaust memory has been theorised as 'multidirectional' and its proximity with the memories of other traumas, no matter how competitive and screening, rethought as the means by which Holocaust memory, protean by nature, can, in an age of decolonization, be adapted, appropriated and entered into dialogue with memories of modernity's other atrocities (Rothberg). This proposed volume asks, among other things, how might we extend the archive of 'multidirectional' memory that Rothberg has so fruitfully begun to explore. What are the implications of 'multidirectionality' for the writing of Holocaust history as well as for the study of Holocaust memory? How might memory practitioners and activists use the 'multidirectional' archive, and the concept itself, in politically and juridically transformative ways to effect transnational justice? Put another way, how can we move from an ethics of history and memory to material, political and juridical effects? And what of the very definition of memory itself in an age of globalization? As media technologies facilitate the ways that Holocaust memories become unmoored from groups and individuals that lay claim to them, to be shared and inflected by others on a global stage, do definitions of memory (secondary, shared, post, prosthetic) become even more attenuated? Do the itineraries of representations of the Holocaust call for a rethinking of the relationship between history and memory, their definitions and disciplinary boundaries?

The editors invite submissions from across the disciplines, at both a meta-level, exploring the state of Holocaust Studies, and as well as at the level of individual case studies of the transculturation, transnationalisation and globalization of Holocaust memory.

Submissions might address but are not limited to the following themes:

• The changing nature of the archive in a digital age as resource for Holocaust history and memory;
• Global memory and history as a basis for transnational justice and reparations claims, and what serves as legitimate and authoritative evidence, what satisfies claims for recognition and restitution;
• The limits of concepts of transcultural, transnational and global memory and history;
• Globalization and methodological change in historiography, oral historiography, and literary and testimony studies; new comparative methodologies;
• Global inflections in Holocaust museum, memorial and monument practice; commemorative forms used to remember the Holocaust and how they might shape memories of other atrocities around the world;
• Postmodern philosophies of Holocaust representation;
• Theories of 'secondary witnessing' (Apel), 'postmemory' (Hirsch), 'prosthetic memory' (Landsberg), and 'fantasies' of witnessing (Weissman) in an age of global memory;
• Citizenship, migration and the uses of Holocaust history and memory.
• 'Screen' and political memory;
• Comparative approaches to the Holocaust, slavery and colonialism

Please send a 500-word abstract, along with a short C.V., to the editors of this proposed volume, Rick Crownshaw ( and Albert Lichtblau (, by September 1, 2010. Contributors chosen on the basis of their abstracts will be asked to submit essays (approximately 6,000 words), for further consideration, by March 1, 2010.

Memory and Narrative Series Editors:
Prof. S. Leydesdorff (
Prof. A. Lichtblau (
Dr. R. Crownshaw (
Dr. N. Adler (
Dr. Adam Brown (
Yifat Gutman (