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May 4, 2019 @ 9:30 am - 6:00 pm
The Graduate Center for Literary Research (GCLR), in collaboration with UCSB’s Memory Studies Reading Group, is hosting an interdisciplinary conference examining the interplay between memory and movement through a wide range of perspectives and disciplines.
Michael Rothberg will deliver the keynote address on “The Implicated Subject: Art, Activism, and Historical Responsibility.” Arguing that the familiar categories of victim, perpetrator, and bystander do not adequately account for our connection to injustices past and present, Rothberg offers a new theory of historical responsibility through the figure of the implicated subject. Implicated subjects occupy positions aligned with power and privilege without being themselves direct agents of harm; they contribute to, inhabit, inherit, or benefit from regimes of domination but do not originate or control such regimes. Drawing on his forthcoming book The Implicated Subject: Beyond Victims and Perpetrators, Rothberg will discuss examples of implication taken from different national contexts, including South Africa and the United States, and from different social realms, including art and activism. The lecture will illustrate how the position of the implicated subject can offer a lens for addressing different scales and temporalities of injustice, but can also provide a lever for rethinking resistance and solidarity across social location.
Michael Rothberg is the 1939 Society Samuel Goetz Chair in Holocaust Studies and Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Los Angeles. His latest book is The Implicated Subject: Beyond Victims and Perpetrators (2019), which is being published by Stanford University Press in their “Cultural Memory in the Present” series. Previous books include Multidirectional Memory: Remembering the Holocaust in the Age of Decolonization (2009), Traumatic Realism: The Demands of Holocaust Representation (2000), and, co-edited with Neil Levi, The Holocaust: Theoretical Readings (2003). With Yasemin Yildiz, he is currently completing Inheritance Trouble: Migrant Archives of Holocaust Remembrance for Fordham University Press.
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