Ten years after 9/11, and six years after the opening of the Holocaust Memorial Berlin, the American Academy in Berlin held a symposium to deliberate "the memorial" as a form of memory culture and as a site of clashing political strategies. Questions by a panel of distinguished experts included, Does a memorial heed our changing perceptions of “the event” over time, or does it dull our collective recollection? Should a memorial urge catharsis or categorically avoid normative reactions? Is a memorial meant to instantiate our interpretation of history or to encourage meditations on it? When we encounter a memorial, what are we being asked to remember? How and by whom are the politics of representation invoked? Held at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, the symposium's panelists included American and German historians, artists, journalists, writers, and politicians, who addressed a spectrum of forms of historical commemoration.
For the complete overview of the two-day symposium, click here to download the PDF. If you were unable to attend, you can still watch via our livestream.
Symposium participants and downloadable PDFs of their talks below:
Dieter Daniels, Professor of Art History and Media Theory, Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst Leipzig: "Vom gelebten Moment zum gebauten Monument" (German only)
James E. Young, Professor of English and Judaic Studies, University of Massachusetts, Amherst. (Click here to read Young's article in the Berliner Zeitung from December 9; and here to download a PDF of the article in English.) His lecture: "The Memorial Arc between Berlin and Post-9/11 New York."
Stefanie Endlich, Honorary Professor for Art in Public Spaces, Universität der Künste Berlin
Karl Schlögel, Professor of Eastern European History and Slavic Studies, Europa-Universität Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder)
Nikolaus Bernau, Historian and Architecture Critic
Horst Hoheisel, Artist
Jennifer Jordan, Professor of Sociology and Urban Studies, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
Adam Haslett, Author, Mary Ellen von der Heyden Fiction Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin. "Comments."
Moderation: Ines Pohl, Editor-in-Chief, die tageszeitung