Heritage & Memory: Sites of Transgenerational Trauma, Moral Reminders, and Repair

Award Year: 
Project Director(s): 

Martin Beck Matuštík, Lincoln Professor of Ethics & Religion
Patricia Huntington, Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies
Eric Wertheimer, Professor of English, Director of CCICS

Heritage & Memory: Sites of Transgenerational Trauma, Moral Reminders, and Repair examines conflicted sites of heritage and memory in order to articulate conceptual (theory, methodology innovations) and practical (clinical, ethical, political, legal impact in applied fields) resources with potential for breaking inherited barriers to peace and conflict resolution. These resources would include critical theory, literature, aesthetics of museums, monuments, memorializations, rituals, and civic performances of memory. The key motivation for the project is both conceptual and practical: Places, times, heritages that are inhabited by individuals suffering from transgenerational trauma can become humanly uninhabitable, barren, blocked, barricaded, suffused in conflict. A loved heritage can transmit harms, and as “moral remainders” inherited harms in turn engender conflicts, and second generation conflicts warp heritage by redefining its origins, and such new beginnings erect barriers to peace. The project's deliverables would serve a wide range of needs: among these would be portfolios with cases studies and theoretical examinations, thematic papers, and a formation of an ongoing consortium of international specialists. The consortium offers the most long term and widely flexible structure for engendering future deliverables: It would function as a resource, virtual as well as occasional on site think tank, and a flexible planning group for requested workshops and conferences on a well-defined theme. The formation of the core group will take place at the proposed symposium on Memory and Countermemory at ASU (November 6-8, 2011) and expand in the proposal for the NEH summer seminar for twenty scholars (proposal due, March 1, 2012, seminar held in summer 2013).


This project was sponsered by the Institute for Humanities Research.

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