Becoming Vulnerable - Ambivalent Solidarities

Controversies over antisemitism, colonial racisms, and Holocaust in history and memory politics

Winter Semester 2022/2023

International Lecture Series with contributions from Anitha Oforiwah Adu-Boahen, Teresa Koloma Beck, Donald Bloxham, Kirsten Dyck, Norbert Finzsch, Atina Grossmann, Ivan Kalmar, Helen Makhdoumian, Kristin Platt, Anna Reading, Anja Reuss, Michael Rothberg, Stefanie Schüler-Springorum, and Natan Sznaider.

Start date: 26.10.2022 (Online) - Details coming soon

​​In a recent debate, which has become known as 'Historiker*innenstreit 2.0', seemingly irreconcilable discourses of local and transnational memories about genocidal violence, racisms, and antisemitism have repeatedly collided. The controversy responded to accusations of antisemitism against postcolonial academic Achille Mbembe, as well as the 2021 publication of the German translation of Michael Rothberg's influential monograph Multidirectional Memory and its emphasis on connections between Holocaust and postcolonial memory.

In our lecture series, we set out to discuss the controversial entanglements between antisemitism and colonial racisms, as well as their interrelated transnational memory discourses. In doing so, we depart from a particularly German research tradition of engaging with antisemitism/antijudaism and colonial racisms as distinct concepts, and its subsequent creation and institutionalisation of competitive memory discourses.
The aim of the lecture series is to trace and reconstruct the diverging theoretical developments, and, while honouring their specific achievements, to contextualise them in a framework of ethical considerations about the topos of vulnerability. In the process, we hope to contribute to a depolarisation of the debate and enable new theorisations of mutual solidarities.