• Founded
  • Seminar Number

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

Professor Sonali Thakkar

Annabelle Tseng

Meeting Schedule

09/20/2022 Deutsches Haus, Columbia University
6:00 PM
The German Memory Wars: A Report from the Front, Dirk Moses
Dirk Moses, CCNY

Andreas Huysssen,

Sonali Thakkar,

11/02/2022 Faculty House, Columbia University
6:00 PM
the connections between genocide, colonialism, and ecocide
Susanne Knittel, Utrecht University

11/29/2022 POSTPONED--Faculty House, Columbia University
6:00 PM
POSTPONED--Remembering Thind: Racial Memory and the Making of Asian America
Sherally Munshi, Associate Professor, Georgetown Law


As the historic Thind decision enters the canon of legal study, as it becomes a fixture in the landscape of collective memory, and a site of Asian American identity formation, the hundred-year anniversary of the decision presents itself as an occasion for critical reflection about how we make sense of this particular past, our identification within it, and its relevance to our contemporary moment. Thind has been read primarily as a case about the racialization and exclusion of Indian immigrants from the United States. This talk will explore some of the limits of that framing, arguing that, among other things, it reifies the apparent givenness of racial form while obscuring the historic forces that gave urgency to its formation.