Memory and Trauma (05:05)
Andreas Huyssen experienced memory discourse while growing up in post-war Germany and addressing its fascist past. He discusses its application to Latin American fascism in the 1980s, using the Holocaust model. It also influenced South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Can Memory Discourse Be Politically Productive? (01:53)
Appropriating the Holocaust discourse enabled Argentinian society to recognize that its history involved state terror. The Nuremberg model helped South Africa to realize what was possible.
Is Memory Always Beneficial? (01:27)
Memory can be used to affirm and legitimize power, or to limit power. World War I memories provided ground for Nazi ideology. Traumatic memories are used to prosecute perpetrators of mass violence.
Can Oblivion Be Beneficial? (05:42)
Huyssen discusses how the Holocaust discourse influenced the debate about state terror in Argentina. Huyssen’s generation disregarded Allied bombing of German cities to shift public discourse toward addressing the Holocaust. In the 1990s, German historians reintroduced the bombings.
Art and the Limits of Presentation (03:50)
Adorno once said it was barbaric to write poetry after Auschwitz. Films reenacting the Holocaust sparked debate about possibilities of representation among trauma theorists. Huyssen sees post-structuralism as referencing modernism that had rejected representation.
What Are the Limits of Representation in Today's Debates? (02:13)
Huyssen advocates focusing on the limits of literature in representing visual experience and vice versa. In the 1990s, trauma theory was linked to memories of the Holocaust, apartheid, and state terror.
Modernity, Modernism and Memory (02:40)
Huyssen argues that we are still in a phase of modernity and have not moved to a post-critical age. Modernism critiques modernity; memory and history remain important for understanding our place within modernity.
Legacies of Modernism in Arts (02:10)
Modernism was critical of modernity. Huyssen argues against embracing post-critical theories and reflects on the contemporary understanding of modernism.
Credits: Critical Thinkers - Andreas Huyssen (00:40)
Credits: Critical Thinkers - Andreas Huyssen
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