Depictions of the Holocaust in history, literature, and film became a focus of intense academic debate in the 1980s and 1990s. Today, with the passing of the eyewitness generation and the rise of comparative genocide studies, the Holocaust’s privileged place not only in scholarly discourse but across Western society has been called into question.
Probing the Ethics of Holocaust Culture is a searching reappraisal of the debates and controversies that have shaped Holocaust studies over a quarter century. This landmark volume brings international scholars of the founding generation of Holocaust studies into conversation with a new generation of historians, artists, and writers who have challenged the limits of representation through their scholarly and cultural practices. Focusing on the public memorial cultures, testimonial narratives, and artifacts of cultural memory and history generated by Holocaust remembrance, the volume examines how Holocaust culture has become institutionalized, globalized, and variously contested. Organized around three interlocking themes—the stakes of narrative, the remediation of the archive, and the politics of exceptionality—the essays in this volume explore the complex ethics surrounding the discourses, artifacts, and institutions of Holocaust remembrance.
From contrasting viewpoints and, in particular, from the multiple perspectives of genocide studies, the authors question if and why the Holocaust should remain the ultimate test case for ethics and a unique reference point for how we understand genocide and crimes against humanity.
Twenty-five years after the publication of Saul Friedländer's trailblazing book, the questions being asked about the Holocaust have changed but its importance as a test case for the humanities remains just as strong. Probing the Ethics of Holocaust Culture is a worthy successor to Friedländer's volume, skillfully charting as it does the epistemological, intellectual, and cultural issues at stake in engaging with this most defining event of human destructiveness.
These essays provide a new framework for the study of collective violence and state terror at a global scale. No longer bound to modernist anxieties about narrative and images, this book shows how the Holocaust remains a prism for ethics and politics as we are grappling with our world of continuing violence and denial of rights. A must read for anyone interested in the past and future of Holocaust studies and a great tribute to Saul Friedländer.
The Holocaust is at the center of wide-ranging intellectual discussion, but where exactly is the center? What can words say, explanations do, comparisons offer, assemblages reveal, and self-reflection add? This extraordinary collection of essays traces the shadows of the Holocaust on contemporary thought, providing insights on what we can and cannot know, on what will not be settled. A remarkable contribution that will be read again and again.
Masterfully addresses the place of the Holocaust in shaping our understanding of fateful events, trauma, remembrance, and the politics of memory. Written by some of the most distinguished scholars of the Holocaust, the essays in this exquisite collection also point to the future of Holocaust scholarship in helping us formulate our ethical stance when faced with other cases of mass atrocity. An indispensable source for anyone considering how and why our recent past matters.
- 528 pages
- 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
- Harvard University Press
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