Travels Beyond the Holocaust: Memorialization, Musealization and Representation of Atrocities in Global Dialogue
10th Annual Conference of the Historical Dialogues, Justice & Memory Network
Final Conference of the ERC project Globalized Memorial Museums
Institute of Culture Studies and Theatre History, Austrian Academy of Sciences & Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies
June 25-28, 2024
Around the world, the Holocaust has become an emblematic historical reference point for other atrocities and their representations. The transfer of tropes and icons, knowledge and expertise has translated into a broad range of phenomena in the global field of memorialization and musealization, but also in the narrative framing of atrocities/egregious human rights violations. On the one hand, the Holocaust has traveled as a historical imperative of “never again”, of the respect of human rights, and a model or template for remembrance, repair and musealization of many atrocities worldwide. On the other hand, the complex journeys of representing the Holocaust have opened space for comparisons, controversies and, in extreme cases, Holocaust distortion; they also gave incentive for claims that Holocaust memory has overshadowed that of colonial and imperialist pasts.
Against this backdrop, this conference seeks to explore how the memorialization and musealization of the Holocaust and other genocides, wars, histories of sexual violence, slow violence and colonialism travel around the world across a range of media and come into dialogue with one another. We intend to look at the many and varied templates, models and examples being used, challenged or explicitly rejected through the symbolic and material travel across cultures and geographies. The conference focuses on memorial museums, memorial sites and other materialities of remembrance, but also takes into consideration film, photographs, social media, oral and public history, literature, and the fields of community advocacy and activism. We are interested in analyzing the diverse ways in which forms of memorialization and musealization come into exchange and become entangled – not only in relation to the Holocaust, but casting a wider net to other internationalizations of memorial debates, including the “comfort women” trope in and beyond East Asia, the redress movement in the US, the strategic essentialism of Roma in Europe, or the travel of the notion of (enforced) disappearance from Latin America to Europe, to name several other examples. We ask how this movement of ideas and tropes challenges the representation of victim- perpetrator dichotomy and brings into view the gray zones of complex positionalities (beneficiaries, facilitators, implicated subjects) and forms of agency (resistance, resilience). Which global trends regarding the representation of gender, sexualized and sexual violence as a form of crimes against humanity and genocide can be detected in the practices of memorialization and representation of atrocities? How are the intersections with class, ethnicity, ‘race’ and religion addressed? Finally, which role do the worldwide distribution of material and human remains, and their exhibition in museums and other memorial institutions, play in the evolving ‘globalization of memory’?
The conference is open to scholars, practitioners, advocates and activists from around the world. The Historical Dialogues, Justice and Memory Network (www.historicaldialogues.org), coordinated by an international Steering Committee and the Alliance for Historical Dialogue and Accountability (AHDA) of the Institute for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University, will hold its annual conference on June 25-28, 2024 at the Institute of Culture Studies and Theatre History (IKT) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW) and the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute of Holocaust Studies (VWI) in Vienna, Austria. This will at the same time be the closing conference of IKT’s ERC project on “Globalized Memorial Museums. Exhibiting Atrocities in the Era of Claims for Moral Universals”.
A keynote lecture will be delivered by Professor Carol Gluck (Columbia University). The conference language is English, no translation is available. There is no conference registration fee, and no funding for travel and accomodation will be provided.
Conference participants may deliver one paper and participate in one panel or roundtable; they may not participate in more than one formal panel presentation other than as a chair. Applications should be submitted no later than December 1st, 2023 as a single email attachment to gmm.conference.2024(at)oeaw.ac.at
If you are interested in participating, please e-mail a 300-500 words abstract, a 2-3 sentence bio, and contact information. This material should be sent as a single email attachment. Applications for panels or roundtables are also very welcome.
Panels consist of a chair and 3-4 panelists. Panelists should plan to speak for 15 minutes each. Panelists are not asked to circulate their papers in advance. If you are interested in submitting a panel, please provide a title for the panel and a brief overview of the theme or question that the panel will explore. Each participant should also provide a title, a 300-500 word abstract for their presentation, and a 2-3 sentence bio with their contact information.
Roundtable sessions consist of 4-5 discussants and a moderator, who participates more fully in the session than a panel chair in a traditional panel. Participants in roundtables do not present or read formal papers, but rather engage in a discussion or exchange about a specific question, text, or issue. The focus of discussion must be clearly articulated in the abstract, and participants are expected to prepare their remarks in advance, even if the nature of a roundtable is less formal than a traditional panel. If you are interested in submitting a roundtable abstract, please include the title of the roundtable, a description (300-500 words) of the issue or question to be discussed, and a list of participants with a brief bio for each person listed, including contact information for each participant.
Local Organizing Committee
Zuzanna Dziuban, ERC project “Globalized Memorial Museums”, IKT, ÖAW
Éva Kovács, Deputy Director of the VWI for Academic Affairs
Ljiljana Radonić, IKT Deputy Director & head of the ERC project “Globalized Memorial Museums”, ÖAW
Conference organised in cooperation with NIOD