Roundtable | Memory, Activism and Social Justice TFDC G.06 Lecture Theatre & Plenary Overflow
Jul 05, 2023 11:00 - 12:30(Europe/London)
20230705T1100 20230705T1230 Europe/London 3.24. The Future of Memory Ethics and the Right to Memory

Scholars and practitioners working on memory ethics often try to answer the questions outlined by Avhisahi Margalit in his exploration of memory norms and morality: "Are we obligated to remember people and events from the past? If we are, what is the nature of this obligation? Are remembering and forgetting proper subjects of moral praise or blame? Who are the 'we' who may be obligated to remember?" (Margalit, 2002, p.7). Indeed, memory ethics has long been debated in memory studies since its establishment as a field. For example, the morality of "Never again" is based on a duty to remember the Holocaust to prevent future atrocities (David, 2020). Memory scholars can find a more ancient example in Plato's dialogue: Phaedrus, highlighting the fear of losing memory due to its replacement by mnemonic artifacts, detaching remembering individuals from their "real" memories and thus knowledge (Vinitzky-Seroussi & Maraschin, 2021).Following this line of thought, Noam Tirosh and Anna Reading suggest in the forthcoming edited collection: "The right to memory – History, Media, Law and Ethics" (Berghahn, 2023), that memory scholars, policymakers and practitioners should construct a new Right to Memory to promote memory ethics in a world that is ever more fragmented and turned apart by conflicts. According to Tirosh and Reading, the right to memory is a socio-political mechanism that extends across questions of law, media, ethics, and history, connecting human rights with justice and empowering weaker members of society. Thinking of memory in the terms associated with discourse regarding rights, they contend, can serve as a means to promote memory ethics. According to this perspective, the future of memory ethics relies upon the future of memory rights.The suggested roundt ...

TFDC G.06 Lecture Theatre & Plenary Overflow MSA Conference Newcastle 2023 conference@memorystudiesassociation.org
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Scholars and practitioners working on memory ethics often try to answer the questions outlined by Avhisahi Margalit in his exploration of memory norms and morality: "Are we obligated to remember people and events from the past? If we are, what is the nature of this obligation? Are remembering and forgetting proper subjects of moral praise or blame? Who are the 'we' who may be obligated to remember?" (Margalit, 2002, p.7). Indeed, memory ethics has long been debated in memory studies since its establishment as a field. For example, the morality of "Never again" is based on a duty to remember the Holocaust to prevent future atrocities (David, 2020). Memory scholars can find a more ancient example in Plato's dialogue: Phaedrus, highlighting the fear of losing memory due to its replacement by mnemonic artifacts, detaching remembering individuals from their "real" memories and thus knowledge (Vinitzky-Seroussi & Maraschin, 2021).

Following this line of thought, Noam Tirosh and Anna Reading suggest in the forthcoming edited collection: "The right to memory – History, Media, Law and Ethics" (Berghahn, 2023), that memory scholars, policymakers and practitioners should construct a new Right to Memory to promote memory ethics in a world that is ever more fragmented and turned apart by conflicts. According to Tirosh and Reading, the right to memory is a socio-political mechanism that extends across questions of law, media, ethics, and history, connecting human rights with justice and empowering weaker members of society. Thinking of memory in the terms associated with discourse regarding rights, they contend, can serve as a means to promote memory ethics. According to this perspective, the future of memory ethics relies upon the future of memory rights.

The suggested roundtable will gather experts in memory studies that will discuss and debate the future of memory ethics and the possible contribution of the right to memory as a discursive mechanism that can promote memory justice. The roundtable will be chaired by Dr. Yifat Gutman of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and include the following participants: Prof. Sarah Gensburger of the French National Center for Scientific Research; Prof. Anne Whitehead of Newcastle University, UK; Prof. Anna Reading of King's College London; Dr. Philipp Seuferling of The London School of Economics and Political Science; and Dr. Noam Tirosh, of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

Full Research Professor
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CNRS, France
Professor
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Newcastle University
King's College London
Senior Lecturer
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Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Senior Lecturer
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Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
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