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The University Seminar on Cultural Memory began in 2005 as an interdisciplinary colloquium welcoming graduate students and faculty from Columbia and its neighbors. The Seminar, incepted in 2007, builds upon this already-established community and aims to further develop a vibrant interdisciplinary dialogue on contemporary issues of cultural and collective memory, including but not limited to traumatic memory, collective and national forgetting, memorialization and museology, historical consciousness and historiography, embodied memory and performance, archive and testimony. The Seminar meets monthly and, in addition to discussing chapters and works-in-progress, hosts a series of distinguished visiting speakers, working in close cooperation with relevant departments and institutes at Columbia.

Professor Marianne Hirsch

Professor Andreas Huyssen

Annabelle Tseng

All seminars will continue to meet virtually through February 2022. Meeting links provided upon RSVP. Meeting dates and times are subject to change.

Meeting Schedule

10/12/2021 Online Meeting
2:00 PM
Neuroscience, Intergenerational Trauma, Race, & Healing: the Impact of 2020
Angelika Bammer, Emory University

Raina Croff and Sará King, Oregon Health & Science University

Evelynn M. Hammonds, Harvard University

Bianca Jones Marlin, Columbia University
Remodal Abstract


In 2019, the Presidential Scholars at Columbia University held a seminar on the topic of neuroscience and intergenerational trauma, specifically asking how the remote past gets under our skin. We are enthusiastic to expand the direction of the dialogue with this special panel discussion focusing specifically on issues of intergenerational trauma and healing, neuroscience, and race. We will explore the ways in which activists and scholars have risen to the occasion, translating research into practice as they grapple with the unique historical role 2020 will play in furthering scholarly studies in this field and in expanding various frameworks for trauma healing around the globe. In question, here, are not only the types of insights 2020 will continue to add to ongoing research into various mechanisms of intergenerational transmission, but also the ethical challenges that arise when meeting a historical moment-in-the-making and the role (social justice) care work, inspired by scientific narratives of trauma and memory, will continue to play.

Notes: Moderated by Clare McCormack and Noni Carter (Columbia University)
02/08/2022 Online Meeting
12:00 PM
Memory Politics in Contemporary Russia
Masha Gessen, The New Yorker

03/03/2022 Online Meeting
4:00 PM
Remember Us To Life - Vulnerable Memories in a Prospective Monument, Memorial and Museum
Rebecka Katz Thor, Columbia University