Becoming Vulnerable - Ambivalent Solidarities

Lecture Series

Wintersemester 2022/2023

In Progress

​​In a recent debate, which has become known as 'Historiker*innenstreit 2.0', seemingly irreconcilable discourses of local and transnational memories about genocidal violence, racism, 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 racism, 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 racism/postcolonialism 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.