Konferenzen, Tagungen

The Cultural Memory of Mass Violence: Re-mediation and Pre-mediation

Deadline Anmeldung

LMU Munich, 03 November 2022

Große Aula: Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1

register for streaming at n.frank@lrz.uni-muenchen.de

organized by Juliane Prade-Weiss (LMU Munich)

Dominik Markl (Georgetown U, Washington, DC)

and Vladimir Petrović (Boston U)

Cultural memory is shaped, not least, by the intertwined dynamics of re-mediation and premediation: On the one hand, formative events are “represented again and again, over decades and centuries, in different media” (Erll 2009, 111). On the other hand, such retrospective informs the representation of later events as “existent media which circulate in a given society provide schemata for new experience” (ibid). The workshop seeks to explore the dynamics of pre-mediation and re-mediation in the cultural memory of mass violence. Two current phenomena call for this exploration:

First, Russia’s weaponization of the memory of the fight against National Socialism in its 2022 war against Ukraine has puzzled audiences, notably in the West, and is usually considered as empty pretexts to manifest material or strategic interests. However, this does not fully comprehend the function of cultural memory in Russia’s propaganda since “justifications of war are more than ‘cheap talk’ without normative meaning. Even propaganda refers to an audience which constitutes itself around certain normative expectations” (Brock/Simon 2021, 523), in this case the expectation of being on the morally right side, which is informed by the cultural memory of victory in World War II.

Second, while the concept of cultural memory has become well-established in academic, political, and popular discourse three decades since Jan Assmann’s Das kulturelle Gedächtnis (1992), it appears far from settled. The practices and politics informing cultural memory are currently a major site of scholarly, political, and popular dispute in traditional and social media. These disputes involve mutual allegations of instrumentalizing cultural memory for ideological and/or strategic agendas. Re-negotiations of the cultural memory of colonial history challenge the Holocaust paradigm of mass violence commemoration (Moses 2021) and show that the cultural memory of mass violence is remediated in local and national narratives (A. Assmann 2020) that seem to resist a rearticulation is global terms.

The workshop inquires into:

- how the dynamics of re- and premediation can contribute to understanding and possibly dissolving emotionally charged competitions between memory cultures,

- what roles different traditional and popular media play in disputes over the cultural memory of mass violence, and how they contribute to establishing a “multidirectional memory” (Rothberg 2009),

- whether, and if so: how, the role of pre-mediators originating in remote cultural spheres, such as religious texts, differ from modern pre-mediators,

- how the dynamics of re- and pre-mediation are explicitly addressed (criticised, defended, used and/or rhetorically abused) by divergent actors in disputes over the cultural memory of mass violence, not least in the context of right-wing populisms.

Assmann, Aleida (2020). Die Wiedererfindung der Nation. Warum wir sie fürchten und warum wir sie brauchen (Munich: Beck)

Assmann, Jan (1992). Das Kulturelle Gedächtnis. Schrift, Erinnerung und politische Identität in frühen Hochkulturen (Munich: Beck) [English translation: (2012). Cultural Memory and Early Civilization: Writing, Remembrance, and Political Imagination (Cambridge: Cambridge U P)]

Brock, Lothar, and Hendrik Simon (2021). The Justification of War and International Order: From Past to Present (Oxford: Oxford U P)

Erll, Astrid (2009). “Remembering across Time, Space, and Cultures: Premediation, Remediation and the ‘Indian Mutiny’.” In Mediation, Remediation, and the Dynamics of Cultural Memory, ed. A. Erll and A. Rigney (Berlin: de Gruyter), 109–138

Moses, A. Dirk (2021). The Problems of Genocide: Permanent Security and the Language of Transgression (Cambridge: Cambridge U P)

Rothberg, Michael (2009). Multidirectional Memory: Remembering the Holocaust in the Age of Decolonization (Stanford: Stanford U P)

Quelle der Beschreibung: Information des Anbieters


Osteuropäische Literatur (Baltikum, Russland, Ukraine), Südosteuropäische Literatur (Albanien, Balkanstaaten, Bulgarien, Griechenland, Rumänien, Türkei), Literaturtheorie, Medientheorie, Interdisziplinarität, Literatur und Kulturwissenschaften/Cultural Studies, Literatur und Medienwissenschaften, Literatur des 21. Jahrhunderts
Kulturelles Gedächtnis, Holocaustlisteratur, Erinnerungspoetik





Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU)
Institut für Allgemeine und Vergleichende Literaturwissenschaft


Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1, Große Aula
80799 München
Beitrag von: Juliane Prade-Weiss
Datum der Veröffentlichung: 15.10.2022
Letzte Änderung: 15.10.2022