blog posts Kevork Mourad and Helen Makdoumian visit the University of Illinois, April 24-25, 2023 Apr 28, 2023 1:15 pm Kevork Mourad was born in Syria, studied art in Yerevan, Armenia, and now lives in upstate New York. His intensely evocative, beautiful work explores migration, memory, and place; trauma, community, and isolation. History and its often violent over-writing, the competing claims of inheritance and presence, the motherland and the currentland. Time, engagement, and distance. He collaborates with dancers, musicians, and other visual artists to create stunning multimedia projects. He has worked with Yo-Yo Ma, Kinan Azmeh, Kim Kashkashian, and exhibited and/or performed at Carnegie Hall, The Art Institute of Chicago, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Tabari Art Space in Dubai, and many other august museums and performance spaces all over the world. His projects invite us to see and feel the spaces he evokes but also to come in, to experience your own—our own—memories, reactions, and emotions as we travel through the work. As Kevork said in one of his many videos (and I urge you to check out his website which offers a vast archive of at least some of his myriad projects), “I’m interested in knowing what you’re going to feel when you are in front of the piece, as a citizen of the world.” 5th Annual Holocaust, Genocide, Memory Studies Annual Graduate Student Conference Mar 31, 2023 10:30 pm From the decimated landscapes of the Nevada nuclear testing sites to the quiet mapping of grief on notecards, from Turkish-German pop cultural negotiations of identity to photo-portraits of Armenians who survived the genocide, from women and horses in captivity to Columbian water arts, and from ancient stories of moral injury to mining in Minnesota, this year’s annual Holocaust, Genocide, Memory Studies (HGMS) graduate student conference was perhaps the most wide-ranging yet. An interview with Dilara Çalışkan Mar 29, 2023 9:45 pm Dilara Çalışkan will earn her Ph.D. in Anthropology from UIUC in the Summer of 2023, writing a dissertation entitled: 'A Big Family of Bad Bad Bad Girls': Memory, Language, and Kin-Making Among Trans Women who do sex work in Istanbul, under the direction of Jessica Greenberg and Jenny L. Davis. I [Brett] got to know Dilara because she has been an energetic, active member of the HGMS community. Between Fall 2018 and Spring 2021 Dilara was the co-organizer (with Claire Baytas) of the interdisciplinary reading group the Future of Trauma and Memory Studies. She helped organize the annual HGMS graduate student conference for the past five years, she actively participated in the Mnemonics summer school, and she was a big part of the annual Armenian genocide commemorations, especially in 2017 for the Spaces of Remembering the Armenian Genocide Conference. Dilara also participated in the stellar collection Women Mobilizing Memory. I Want to Teach a Different Story About the Armenian Diaspora: A Reflection on Pedagogy Feb 6, 2023 11:30 am How might we train not just future scholars in the field of Armenian Studies, but instructors? As an inroad to addressing such open-ended questions, I offer this reflection on the course that I had the opportunity to design and teach as an Alex and Marie Manoogian Postdoctoral Fellow through the Center for Armenian Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. If I were to answer my own question, I would say that I am committed to getting students to see a course like the one that I taught at the University of Michigan as not just a study of the Armenian Diaspora but a course that allows students to see how a particular case can prompt fascinating discussion on big questions. Specifically, I designed a semester-long undergraduate course titled “Armenian Relationality: Diasporas Old, New, and in the Making.” My course ran as a semester-long, 300-level undergraduate course through the Department of English Language and Literature and counted as an “Identity/Difference” course requirement for the undergraduate major. No. 4, Street of Our Lady: International Holocaust Remembrance Day Film Screening Jan 30, 2023 2:30 pm In honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Initiative in Holocaust, Genocide, Memory Studies screened the remarkable film No. 4, Street of Our Lady in a virtual event. The film tells the story of two Jewish families who were saved and hidden by Franciszka Halamajowa, a woman who risked her life to save them. We were joined after the screening by Judy Maltz, whose grandparents were saved at the house at No. 4, Street of Our Lady, and George Gasyna, who wrote the wonderful blog post below. The film is available for anyone to stream here: https://vimeo.com/80085717. Living Memory with Corinna Oct 29, 2022 9:45 pm There are some thirty of us in Levis Faculty Center, sitting with Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim and with memories and pictures of her grandparents. Hermann da Fonseca-Wollheim was a German doctor drafted into World War I, four years on the Western Front, and then he left Europe as a ship’s doctor and a three-year resident of Sultanabad, what is now Arak, Iran. In October 1930 Hermann returned to Germany, unsure if there was a place for him there. He quickly fell in love with Käthe Stöver. Käthe had studied expressionist dance with the luminary Mary Wigman. Pictures show Käthe exuberant and joyous and sexy, playing with the camera’s eye; poised, kinetic, vivacious. Reflections on the Fourth Annual Graduate Student Symposium in Memory Studies May 3, 2022 9:30 pm On March 25, 2022, the Initiative in Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies (HGMS) hosted the fourth annual Graduate Student Symposium in Memory Studies. Following the success of the first symposium in 2018, this symposium has been held roughly once per year to showcase the wide array of UIUC graduate student research on topics related to memory. The symposium organizing committee is spearheaded by Brett Kaplan, Professor of Comparative Literature and Director of HGMS. She worked alongside a team of graduate students—Claire Branigan, Dilara Çalışkan, Ragini Chakraborty, Naomi Taub, and myself—to put together this year’s event. 4th annual HGMS Graduate Student Conference Mar 9, 2022 9:15 pm Vulnerable Memory, Rebecka Katz Thor, October 26, 2021 Nov 2, 2021 9:15 pm On October 26, 2021 Swedish scholar Rebecka Katz Thor zoomed in for an Initiative in Holocaust, Genocide, Memory Studies (HGMS) faculty seminar to present a fascinating talk entitled “Remember to Life: Vulnerable Memory in a Prospective Monument, Memorial, and Museum.” Her talk considered Sweden’s official plans for a Holocaust Museum as well as an art association’s push to remember Swedish colonialism in the Caribbean, and a grassroots movement to memorialize victims of a racist serial killer. This three-year post-doctoral project builds on her earlier doctoral research. The Future of Trauma and Memory Studies Reading Group Discusses The Implicated Subject with Michael Rothberg Mar 19, 2021 5:15 pm With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Future of Trauma and Memory Studies Reading Group switched from in-person to online meetings. While we greatly look forward to meeting in person again in the future, the Zoom meeting format has given us special opportunities to invite scholars from different institutions, countries, and continents to join in our reading group sessions. Recently, we were honored to host Professor Michael Rothberg from UCLA to discuss his most recent book, The Implicated Subject: Beyond Victims and Perpetrators (Stanford UP, 2019) in a special session held February 12, 2021. HGMS Screens Ver Vet Blaybn? (Who Will Remain?) Feb 24, 2021 5:00 pm In honour of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Wednesday, January 27th, the Initiative in Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies had the great privilege of hosting a special preview educational screening of Ver Vet Blaybn? (Who Will Remain?), a documentary film about the renowned and distinguished Yiddish poet Avrom Sutzkever which follows his granddaughter, Israeli actress Hadas Kalderon, as she explores Vilna through her grandfather’s diary. The event was held just a week after the eleventh anniversary of his death and was certainly also held in Sutzkever’s memory. Third Annual Graduate Student Conference in Holocaust, Genocide, Memory Studies Nov 9, 2020 12:00 pm On September 3, 2020, members of The Initiative in Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies (HGMS) community gathered on Zoom for the third annual Graduate Student Symposium. Initially scheduled for March of 2020, this year’s digital symposium was nonetheless an opportunity for engaging presentations and discussion across a wide variety of academic disciplines and topics. Unorthodox: Virtual Panel Discussion Jun 4, 2020 9:15 pm On May 7, 2020 the Program in Jewish Culture & Society held a virtual panel discussion of the Netflix mini-series Unorthodox, a fictionalized adaptation of Deborah Feldman’s eponymous 2012 memoir, Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of my Hasidic Roots. The conversation that unfolded during the virtual panel offered insights regarding mainstream society’s curiosity toward Haredi Jewish communities and analyzed the way that the aesthetics and narrative of Unorthodox play into our own expectations and anxieties that surround such groups. The event had over 175 attendees and was moderated by Dara E. Goldman (Director, Program in Jewish Culture & Society) and featured brief presentations by David Myers (UCLA), Nomi Stolzenberg (USC), and Rachel S. Harris (U of I) before opening for a discussion moderated by Liat Maggid Alon (Israel Institute Visiting Scholar, U of I). An online interview between Professor Brett Ashley Kaplan (HGMS) and Kevork Mourad May 20, 2020 11:45 am The Initiative in Holocaust, Genocide, Memory Studies invited Kevork Mourad to visit campus in April 2020, but regrettably, we had to postpone when all campus events were cancelled due to the outbreak of Covid-19. Kevork is a Syrian-born, New York-based Armenian artist who works both in 2D and 3D. He produces large-scale installations, ink drawings, illustrations for animated films, live-action sketches to music, and mixed media pieces for visual performances. An overview of images from Mourad’s diverse portfolio can be found on his website: https://www.kevorkmourad.com/ Iraganeko Zuloa | Grandma's Medicine May 13, 2020 11:00 am Ethan Madarieta, newly minted Ph.D. in HGMS and Comparative and World Literature, performed his second memory performance piece at the Levis Center on 23 September, 2019. The multimedia performance contained video, music, spoken word, and cooking and evoked memories of “grandma’s medicine,” a mysterious but alimentary substance which we audience members were offered as gifts at the close of the remarkable evening. ~ Brett Ashley Kaplan Job Market Tips and Suggestions May 12, 2020 11:45 am Comparative Literature and Holocaust, Genocide, Memory Studies graduate student Ethan Madarieta defended and deposited his dissertation, “The Practice Of Memory: Decolonial Resistance In Indigenous Chile And The Chilean Diaspora” in April, 2020. He has accepted a tenure-track position as Assistant Professor of English at SUNY New Paltz to begin in August 2020. Because I (Brett) taught the Comparative Literature Professionalization seminar in Spring 2020, Ethan joined the class (via zoom) to discuss his experiences with the students. Here are his tips for the job market. What Mnemonics Has Meant to Me on My Path to Finding My Intellectual Home in Academia Feb 10, 2020 4:00 pm In September 2019, I had the good fortune to present for the second time at Mnemonics: Network for Memory Studies, a collaborative initiative for graduate education in memory studies. Each year, a partner institution hosts this three-day summer school around a pressing theme in cultural memory studies. Utrecht University hosted the 2019 summer school. This year’s program generated lively discussions pertaining to the theme of “Memory and Activism.” Previously, I participated in the Mnemonics summer school held on our Urbana-Champaign campus. The theme for that 2016 session was “The Other Side of Memory: Forgetting, Denial, Repression.” Melissa Bilal Presents Research on Armenian Lullabies, Print Culture, and Remembrance Practices to the UIUC Campus Community Jul 19, 2019 4:45 pm As part of its commitment to hosting an annual Armenian Studies event, the Initiative in Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies (HGMS) welcomed Melissa Bilal this April. Professor Bilal received her PhD in Ethnomusicology from the University of Chicago and is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at the American University of Armenia. Reflections on HGMS Grad Student Symposium 2019 by Juan Andres Suárez Ontaneda Jul 19, 2019 4:45 pm Going to the archive is not always a conscious choice. As I write about the 2019 Graduate Symposium in Memory Studies (Friday 03/01/2019), I feel like a mediator between the notes in my notebook and my personal memory of the event. At times both forms of inscription work in tandem, but at other times they seem to be at odds with each other. Much beyond my own mediation, this year’s Symposium illustrated the potent research being conducted by Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies (HGMS) members and scholars who are dealing with memory studies from a plurality of angles. From Events in 2017-18 to Setting up the April 24th Fund: A Reflection on Continuing to Create Space for Armenian Studies through HGMS Oct 17, 2018 4:45 pm A few years ago, as a McNair Scholar at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah, I listened to a panel of graduate students discuss their experiences in academia. Opportunities like these gave me hope for the possibility of being fortunate enough to continue to receive a higher education and invaluable insights that would help me further think through the questions I was asking about the Armenian diaspora and its memory work, the travels of Western Armenian and its potential vibrancy between two mountain ranges locally and across borders globally, and our ever-changing transnational community’s beautiful artistic and literary production. Border Street: Early Reflections of the Holocaust May 1, 2018 4:45 pm I am a student in Lizy Mostowski’s POL 102 class. Throughout the course we’ve been invited to attend Dialogue: A Polish-Jewish Film Seriesa series of several film screenings and discussions organized by Lizy Mostowski and Diana Sacilowski tackling the events of the Holocaust and the extent of Polish involvement. One film featured in the series was Ulica Granicznaor Border Street,the 1948 film follows the story of Polish and Jewish families living together in Warsaw at the time of Nazi invasion and occupation. The children serve as a microcosm of Polish citizens to represent the various actions and stances of the common Pole during the war. “The Voice of Lemkin Could Be Heard Distantly Returning”: Implications of Tim Slade’s Documentary The Destruction of Memory Apr 5, 2018 9:00 pm On October 9th, 2017, the Initiative in Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies (HGMS) hosted a campus screening of the 2016 documentary The Destruction of Memory, directed by Tim Slade and narrated by actress Sophie Okonedo. A conversation via Skype between Slade and audience members from across the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign campus followed the screening. The screening of this exigent film, which invites its viewership to closely consider the relevance of what Raphael Lemkin once termed the “cultural” dimension of genocide: the destruction of cultural property, and the Skype discussion could not have come at a better time. Dialogue: A Polish-Jewish Film Series screens Shimon’s Returns Apr 3, 2018 9:45 pm I created Dialogue: A Polish-Jewish Film Series about a year ago with the intention of starting a forum for cross-cultural dialogue around Polish-Jewish issues that extend well beyond the scope of this particular cultural space. The goal of the Series is to breakdown perceived binaries between “Polish” and “Jewish” cultures through dialogue and discussion about a film. I was inspired by Professor Erica Lehrer’s exhibition Souvenir, Talisman, Toy put on at the Seweryn Udziela Ethnographic Museum in Krakow, Poland in 2013 where Prof. Lehrer attempted to create cross-cultural dialogue through her exhibition featuring wooden figurines of Jews carved by Poles after the Second World War. Each of my screenings begins with a film (sometimes a particularly controversial film) on a Polish-Jewish topic and is followed by a discussion led by graduate students specializing in the area. This academic year, Diana Sacilowski and I have curated the lineup of films and together we introduce and discuss the films with participants. In past semesters, we have screened films like Aftermath (2012), Ida (2013), Austeria (1982), and Little Rose (2010). HGMS Graduate Symposium (Rescheduled to 4/6/18) Nov 14, 2017 9:30 pm Breitbart—Bannon—Trump: Breitbart News and the Frankfurt School Nov 1, 2017 9:30 pm Reflections on Stolpersteine Oct 6, 2017 3:45 pm Every time I flaneuse around a German city I stumble, as I am supposed to, over the Stolpersteine. These stones are not new: in 1996 Gunter Demnig began a project to memorialize some of the victims of the Nazi genocide through a seemingly simple but intensely engaging and important method. Each small, squarish metal plaque is embedded into the sidewalk and inscribed with straightforward information about the person or people who lived there. There are now some 60,000 of them in many European cities. “Hier Wohnte Leo Böttigheimer Jg. 1886 Flucht Holland Ermordet 1943 Aushwitz,” and right below this stone: “Hier Wohnte Else Böttigheimer Geb. Levy Jg. 1901 Flucht Holland Ermordet 1943 in Auschwitz.” The family names that group the stones remind us of the loves and kinships of these people who died or were forced to flee. Reflections on Spaces of Remembering the Armenian Genocide Conference and Film Screening Aug 9, 2017 2:45 pm On April 28th, 2017, The Initiative in Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies (HGMS) and The Future of Trauma and Memory Studies (FTMS) reading group hosted Spaces of Remembering the Armenian Genocide. The atmosphere at the conference was electric, the room was full to bursting, and everyone agreed it was a spectacular event! Spaces of Remembering the Armenian Genocide: Conference and Film Screening Apr 7, 2017 2:45 pm On April 28th, 2017, The Initiative in Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies and the Future of Trauma and Memory Studies Reading Group at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign will host a one day conference titled “Spaces of Remembering the Armenian Genocide,” featuring presentations by Myrna Douzjian, Talar Chahinian, Nancy Kricorian, and Scout Tufankjian. The conference will close with a screening of Armenoscope: constructing belonging, which will be followed by a conversation with the docu-essay’s director, Silvina Der-Meguerditchian. What We Owe the Past: A Review of “From Generation to Generation: Inherited Memories and Contemporary Art” Mar 29, 2017 2:30 pm This personal meditation on generational memory actually began several weeks ago when I visited the exhibit “From Generation to Generation: Inherited Memories and Contemporary Art” at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco. According to the curators, the title embraces “l’dor vador—the call to pass tradition from one generation to another,” fitting the museum’s focus on representing contemporary Jewish culture. The exhibition employs Marianne Hirsch’s foundational concept of “postmemory” to thematically organize pieces from twenty-three international artists as they depict memories they have not experienced, but inherited. According to Hirsch, “postmemory describes the relationship that the ‘generation after’ bears to the personal, collective, and cultural trauma or transformation of those who came before—to events that they ‘remember’ only by means of stories, images and behaviors among which they grew up. But these events were transmitted to them so deeply and affectively as to seem to constitute memories in their own right.” The exhibit thus asks us to consider how various familial and cultural pasts are transmitted to these artists and how they choose to represent, as Hirsch describes, these “belated, temporally, and qualitatively removed” memories. Some testimonies to Okla Elliott, 1 May 1977 - 19 March 2017 Mar 22, 2017 11:45 am Call for Papers Mnemonics 2017: The Social Life of Memory Mar 8, 2017 1:45 am The sixth Mnemonics: Network for Memory Studies summer school will be hosted by the Frankfurt Memory Studies Platform from September 7-9, 2017 at Goethe University Frankfurt. Confirmed keynote speakers are Aleida Assmann (University of Konstanz), Andreas Huyssen (Columbia University, New York) and Anna Reading (King’s College, London). Disorienting Memory / Reorienting the Present: A response to Ethan Madarieta’s SUBmerge Remember Dec 22, 2016 11:30 am The range of these personal details, the intense emotions and the inconsequential memory of the green beans, were all invoked and laid bare for my own private act of contemplation the night of December 9th during Ethan Madarieta’s performance titled, SUBmersion Remember: a performance of memory. Submersion is a fitting description of the experience. Ethan was the sole performer and didn’t speak a word or even make eye contact with the audience, but we were each engrossed in the sensorial textures he managed to create and the stream of individual memories and emotions he managed to raise in a span of roughly forty-five minutes. Maxime Decout Guides a Visit to Modiano’s Parisian Memoryscape Dec 7, 2016 4:30 pm On October 19th, 2016, the Program in Jewish Culture & Society and the Department of French and Italian received the visit of Maxime Decout, Maître de conferences at the University of Lille 3 in France, and author of three books on the following topics: Albert Cohen, Writing Judaism in French Literature, and Bad Faith in Literature. His visit focused on French author, and 2014 Nobel Prize recipient, Patrick Modiano. Decout is the editor of the special issue dedicated to Patrick Modiano of the journal Europe and published articles on Modiano, among other numerous publications on Albert Cohen, George Perec, Romain Gary, and Judaism in French literature. Call For Papers Mnemonics 2016: The Other Side of Memory: Forgetting, Denial, Repression Dec 6, 2015 4:30 pm The fifth Mnemonics: Network for Memory Studies summer school will take place from June 2-4, 2016 on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and will be hosted by the Initiative in Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies (HGMS). The theme of the 2016 event will be “The Other Side of Memory: Forgetting, Denial, Repression." Our keynote speakers will be Berber Bevernage (Ghent), Jodi A. Byrd (Illinois), and Françoise Vergès (Paris). Submissions are open to all graduate students interested in memory studies. Transnational Bloody Sundays: Multi-Sited Memory Mar 8, 2015 4:15 pm This post is part four of a four-part forum: "Transnational Memories: Sites, Knots, Methods." An earlier version was presented as part of a roundtable at the Modern Language Association's 2015 Convention in Vancouver that featured Rosanne Kennedy, Ann Rigney, Michael Rothberg, and Debarati Sanyal. Remembering Ronahî, Remembering Internationalism Mar 8, 2015 3:30 pm This post is part three of a four-part forum: "Transnational Memories: Sites, Knots, Methods." An earlier version was presented as part of a roundtable at the Modern Language Association's 2015 Convention in Vancouver that featured Rosanne Kennedy, Ann Rigney, Michael Rothberg, and Debarati Sanyal. Transnational Memories: Sites, Knots, Methods Mar 8, 2015 11:45 am This Days and Memory forum brings together four scholars of cultural memory, based on three continents, who have been actively involved in promoting the transnational turn in memory studies: Rosanne Kennedy (Australian National University), Ann Rigney (Utrecht University), Michael Rothberg (University of Illinois), and Debarati Sanyal (University of California, Berkeley). Three of the presenters (Kennedy, Rigney, and Rothberg) are part of an internationally funded research project called the Network in Transnational Memory Studies (NITMES), which was initiated by Ann Rigney with support from the NWO (The Dutch Research Council). Through a series of conferences, faculty exchanges, and publications—including this one—NITMES seeks to provide a platform for new debates in cultural memory studies. The Act of Killing, the Global Memory Imperative and Trans/national Accountability Mar 8, 2015 11:30 am This post is part two of a four-part forum: "Transnational Memories: Sites, Knots, Methods." An earlier version was presented as part of a roundtable at the Modern Language Association's 2015 Convention in Vancouver that featured Rosanne Kennedy, Ann Rigney, Michael Rothberg, and Debarati Sanyal. Memory in Complicity Mar 8, 2015 10:00 am This post is part one of a four-part forum: "Transnational Memories: Sites, Knots, Methods." An earlier version was presented as part of a roundtable at the Modern Language Association's 2015 Convention in Vancouver that featured Rosanne Kennedy, Ann Rigney, Michael Rothberg, and Debarati Sanyal. Coming to the End of the Beginning: The Great War Initiative Jan 20, 2015 12:30 pm Throughout the Fall 2014 semester, the University of Illinois marked the centenary of World War I with a faculty-led, cross-campus initiative, The Great War: Experiences, Representations, Effects. We are pleased to conclude this series of blog posts on the initiative with reflections from Michelle Salerno, graduate research assistant for the initiative and Ph.D. candidate in the Theatre Department. MLA Roundtable: Transnational Memories: Sites, Knots, Methods Dec 29, 2014 12:30 pm In the past 25 years, memory studies has emerged as a new interdisciplinary field of cultural inquiry. It aims for insight into practices of public remembrance and the sociocultural dynamics through which mediations of the past shape collective identities and inform social action. The development of this field was linked from the outset to investigations of national memory cultures and institutions, with the nation‐state taken as the most self‐evident framework for analysis. Pierre Nora’s pioneering, influential, and contested study Les Lieux de Memoire (1984‐1992) encapsulated the link between “territorialization” (focusing on how memory narratives are fixed, located, contained, “inherited”) and the nation (as the self‐evident frame within which narratives operate and identities are shaped). With the turn towards transnational approaches in the last decade, however, the concept of “sites of memory” has come under pressure as the assumed framework for memory studies. This roundtable will explore the consequences of the transnational turn for the study of sites and practices of memory. Taner Akçam Cancels Visit to University of Illinois Because of Salaita Boycott Oct 5, 2014 12:00 pm Earlier this year, I invited Professor Taner Akçam to speak to students and faculty at the University of Illinois about the Armenian Genocide and the Turkish state’s denial of that genocide. Professor Akçam, the Robert Aram and Marianne Kaloosdian and Stephen and Marian Mugar Professor of Armenian Genocide Studies at the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University, is one of the world’s leading genocide scholars and one of the first Turkish intellectuals to acknowledge and openly discuss the Armenian Genocide. Last week he informed me that he is cancelling his visit to Illinois to honor the boycott that has arisen in the wake of the university’s decision to revoke a job offer to Dr. Steven Salaita because of comments Dr. Salaita made on twitter about the recent bombing of Gaza. America’s War on Language Sep 13, 2014 11:30 am This semester the University of Illinois is marking the centenary of World War I with a faculty-led, cross-campus initiative, The Great War: Experiences, Representations, Effects. During the course of the semester Days and Memory will be publishing a series of posts related to the war. We are pleased to continue this series with Dennis Baron's reflections on the impact of World War I on language policy in the United States. Commemorating World War I: From Illinois to Berlin Jun 25, 2014 11:30 am In fall 2014, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will host a cross-campus initiative marking the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I. The Great War: Experiences, Representations, Effects will bring together faculty, students, and community members to explore the impact of the war from multiple perspectives—historical, cultural, political, and artistic. During the course of the semester-long initiative, Days and Memory will serve as the project blog, publishing reflections and reports on issues related to the Great War. As you can see from the initiative’s website, a diverse array of activities is planned for the fall, including a team-taught history course on “World War I and the Making of the Global Twentieth Century,” lectures by such renowned scholars as Timothy Snyder and Taner Akçam, performances of the musical Oh, What a Lovely War!, a film series, an exhibition of French propaganda posters, and much more. Towards a Postcolonial Consideration of Trauma, a Look at Stef Craps's Recent Work Apr 8, 2014 11:30 am The Initiative in Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies is pleased to co-sponsor the upcoming graduate conference entitled The Future of Trauma and Memory Studies, which will take place April 11th-12th. To mark the occasion, University of Illinois graduate student, Priscilla Charrat, takes a look at the recent work of the conference’s keynote speaker, Stef Craps (Ghent University), and looks forward to his keynote presentation, “Trends in Trauma Theory.” Documentary, Revisited. Claude Lanzmann’s The Last of the Unjust (2013) Mar 13, 2014 11:45 am On March 9, the Initiative in Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies co-sponsored a screening and discussion of Claude Lanzmann's new film The Last of the Unjust with the Art Theater Co-op and the Champaign-Urbana Jewish Federation. Here is a response to the film and discussion by Prof. Laurie Johnson. Apocalyptic Visions: Notes on Claude Lanzmann’s The Last of the Unjust (2013) Mar 6, 2014 11:00 am On March 9, the Initiative in Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies co-sponsored a screening and discussion of Claude Lanzmann's new film The Last of the Unjust with the Art Theater Coop and the Champaign-Urbana Jewish Federation. A Dialogue on the Ethics and Politics of Transcultural Memory - Part II Feb 16, 2014 11:45 am This dialogue is excerpted from the forthcoming volume The Transcultural Turn: Interrogating Memory Between and Beyond Borders, edited by Lucy Bond and Jessica Rapson (Berlin: de Gruyter, March 2014). It is reproduced here with the kind permission of the publisher and editors. A Dialogue on the Ethics and Politics of Transcultural Memory -- Part I Feb 9, 2014 11:30 am This dialogue is excerpted from the forthcoming volume The Transcultural Turn: Interrogating Memory Between and Beyond Borders, edited by Lucy Bond and Jessica Rapson (Berlin: de Gruyter, March 2014). It is reproduced here with the kind permission of the publisher and editors. This blog post is comprised of the first half of the exchange between Moses and Rothberg. Imaginative Transnationalism: Reflections on the Diasporic Memories, Comparative Methodologies Conference Dec 16, 2013 2:45 pm A central question that occupied discussion at the Diasporic Memories, Comparative Methodologies conference regarded our object of study – what exactly is a transnational memory? Bracketing the question of memory, what does it mean for it to be transnational? Aleida Assman played off a familiar dichotomy and highlighted prescriptive and descriptive approaches to the term. Whereas the former gets at the normative potentials of a transnationalism that might be (which provides, e.g., a way of escaping the statist strangle-hold on national memory), the latter takes already-existing global flows as its starting point. But we might add a third term – already present in Assmann’s discussion, but brought out more forcefully in a paper presented by Ann Rigney – namely, the imaginative. Rigney suggested we think in terms of the “articulation” of groups, in its double sense of putting into words and of joining. Such a term sees the joining of cultures as a poetic act, a way of imagining the future.