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December 2023

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Prof. Carol Kidron | Perfect failures? Genocide commemoration through a comparative lens | lecture and discussion

Date: 13.12.2023
Start Time: 5 pm.
Place: Room 42, the Faculty of Polish Studies
Prof. Carol Kidron | Perfect failures? Genocide commemoration through a comparative lens | lecture and discussion

The Research Center for Memory Cultures invites everyone to the meeting of the research project "Potential Histories of East-Central Europe," carried out within the framework of the POB Heritage - Excellence Initiative of the Jagiellonian University.

Professor Carol Kidron, an anthropologist and researcher on genocide and memory, will discuss her field research in Cambodia. Kidron explores how various projects attempting to "import" the global models of commemorating genocide into Cambodia have ultimately failed. She examines the tensions between, on the one hand, a universalizing discourse whose universality is based on the conception of human rights and rooted in the experience of the Holocaust, and, on the other hand, the local conditions of memory and forgetting shaped by cultural, social, religious, and political factors. One of the outcomes of her research is the publication titled "The 'Perfect Failure' of Communal Genocide Commemoration in Cambodia. Productive Friction or 'Bone Business'?" in Current Anthropology (2020).

Together, we will revisit the claims of global, particularly Western forms of memory and the paradoxes of their usage, as well as their rejection outside the center. Is it possible to connect the observations from Cambodia with the experiences of memory researchers on the Holocaust of Jews and Roma in Central-Eastern Europe? We will discuss vernacular (non)memory, the benefits of adopting global patterns, resistance against them, as well as search for instances where the new and productive forms of remembrance emerge from the friction between the global and the local.

The meeting will take place on 13 December at 5:00 PM in room 42, the Faculty of Polish Studies, Jagiellonian University in Krakow (Gołębia 16), with Carol Kidron attending in person. We encourage everyone to join us both on-site and on-line and engage in the subsequent discussion! To access the meeting online kindly use the following MS Teams link:

The meeting will be moderated by Maria Kobielska. The event will be held in English.

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