University of Minnesota
Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies


Global Memory of the Holocaust and the Politics of Never Again

Global Memory of the Holocaust and the Politics of Never Again

Alejandro Baer, Visiting Chair of Qualitative Methods of Social Research, Ludwig Maximilians-Universität-München

Tuesday, March 27
4:00 p.m.
1114 Social Sciences

Recent research on social or collective memory points to the universalization of Holocaust consciousness. According to this research the Holocaust is now also remembered beyond the ethnic boundaries of the Jewish communities or the nations that were responsible for perpetrating it, due in part to the shift in focus from national to cosmopolitan memory cultures. However, such theses pose many open questions in terms of the interpretation of the genocide of the Jews, its actualization as well as contextualization in the history of oppression and crimes against human rights in different countries.

This lecture will present material from a study on Holocaust commemoration ceremonies in Spain, a country still facing the ghosts of its own past. The Spanish case study will lead to a more general reflection on the ongoing tension between particular and universal readings of past violence, the cross-fertilization of memory cultures and the important challenges faced by any individual or institution intending to implement prevention oriented Holocaust and genocide education.

Alejandro Baer is on the sociology faculty of the Ludwig Maximilians-Universität-München, where he holds the position of Visiting Chair of Qualitative Methods of Social Research. His areas of research expertise include Social Memory Studies, Sociology of Culture and Religion, Sociology of Modern Judaism, Empirical Research on Anti-Semitism, Qualitative Research Methodologies, and Sociology of Media and Communication.

His publications include, in addition to numerous articles and chapters in English and German, the books Holocausto. Recuerdo y Representación., Madrid: Editorial Losada, 2006, and El testimonio audiovisual. Imagen y memoria del Holocausto, Madrid: Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas (CIS), 2005.

He directed the Spanish part of the Shoah Visual Archives project. His recent research includes the uses and abuses of Holocaust history and memory in the Spanish-speaking world as well as the transnationalization of memory. He organizes an annual international scholar's conference on Anti-Semitism, fostering international academic collaborations.

Presented by: The Department of Sociology and the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies.