Although there is a great deal of work on the relation between memory and collective identity—in national, transnational, and transcultural contexts—the relation between memory and citizenship has, until recently, received very little discussion from scholars in either memory studies or citizenship studies. This lecture will expand on the notion of “memory citizenship” first offered by Michael Rothberg and Yasemin Yildiz in a 2011 essay on migrant and postmigrant remembrance of the Holocaust in contemporary Germany. Focusing on art, literature, performance, and civil society commemoration, the talk explores how migrant acts of Holocaust remembrance can foster new thinking about multiple dimensions of citizenship.
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 work has been published in such journals as American Literary History, Critical Inquiry, Cultural Critique, History and Memory, New German Critique, and PMLA. His latest book is Multidirectional Memory: Remembering the Holocaust in the Age of Decolonization (2009). He is also the author of Traumatic Realism: The Demands of Holocaust Representation (2000), and has co-edited The Holocaust: Theoretical Readings (2003), and special issues of the journals Criticism, Interventions, Occasion, and Yale French Studies. He is currently completing The Implicated Subject: Beyond Victims and Perpetrators, and—with Yasemin Yildiz—Inheritance Trouble: Migrant Archives of Holocaust Remembrance.