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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Wilke on Memorializing Nazis' Victims in Berlin

Forthcoming in the International Journal of Transitional Justice, an article in the vein of public history by Christiane Wilke on "Remembering Complexity? Memorials for Nazi Victims in Berlin," now available on SSRN.

Here's the abstract:

How do memorials shape who we think we are? And how are our identities involved when we debate, create, and interact with memorials? This essay engages in a conversation with scholarship on intersectional identities and memorial practices in Berlin. Intersectionality scholarship, with its roots in US critical race feminism, has much to offer for thinking about the complexity of identities, yet it does not consider the role of memory, time, and temporality. The scholarship on memory and memorials, in turn, does not sufficiently consider the complexity of identities of those who are memorialized and of those who visit memorials. The essay asks how three different monuments for Nazi victims in Berlin allow for or facilitate the memory of complex identities. The example of the Monument for the Persecuted Homosexuals shows that memorial practices can be crucial in contemporary identity politics and social movements. The essay calls for a more self-reflexive approach to the role of identities and complexity in memorial scholarship and practice.

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