Memory Studies is an international and interdisciplinary convergence field. It addresses – broadly speaking – the interplay of past and present in sociocultural contexts. Memory Studies is interested in the social shape of individual memory as well as in the collective generation of past, present, and future.
The Frankfurt Memory Studies Platform (FMSP) is an initiative of the Forschungszentrum für Historische Geisteswissenschaften (FzHG). It brings together people and projects from history, sociology, literature, arts, media studies, psychology, and other relevant disciplines in a dialogue about memory. It wants to shape the future of memory studies by developing and discussing new research questions and new methodologies.
The activities of the FMSP revolve around three main Research Lines: Transcultural Memory, the Mediality of Memory, and Memory and Narrative.
Susanne Knittel (Utrecht)
Testimony, Representation, Memory”
Tuesday 14 June | 2-4 pm | SH 2.106
The past two decades have witnessed a palpable “turn” to the perpetrator in art, theater, documentary filmmaking, literature, and
other cultural arenas. This has gone hand in hand with a growing interest, within cultural memory studies, in questions of guilt,
complicity, and responsibility in large scale violence. The figure of the perpetrator poses fundamental challenges to memory studies,
which as a field has largely come into being around the figures of the victim and the witness. In this talk I will explore the implications
of the perpetrator “turn” for cultural memory studies, focusing specifically on the ethical, aesthetic, and political questions that arise
when we consider how we remember perpetrators of mass atrocities and how those perpetrators themselves remember their actions
after the fact. I am particularly interested in perpetrator testimony, both oral and written, documentary and fictional, and how it is
framed, staged, and (re)mediated in cultural forms. Drawing on a wide range of examples from literature, film, and documentary
theater, this talk aims to provide an overview of the most salient representational strategies for the cultural encounter with the figure
of the perpetrator.