Collective Memory, Identity, Trauma, and Belonging

What is the role of collective memory in creating identity and belonging? Is it even possible to imagine a belonging that does not require flattened identities that pit one group against another? And most urgently, what are the narratives that can support bridging and solidarity, and repair and rehumanization, even during this time of unimaginable destruction, division and dehumanization? 

Cecilie Surasky of the Othering & Belonging Institute will discuss these questions with three of our sharpest chroniclers, observers, and witnesses: Palestinian historian Sherene Seikaly, acclaimed author and activist Naomi Klein, and Pulitzer-Prize winning novelist Viet Nguyen. This rich conversation will connect the people, places, struggles, and history of Europe, Israel/Palestine, Vietnam, Asia, and the United States. It will bring into sharp focus how structures of othering such as colonialism, US militarism, ethnonationalism, racism, and patriarchy strip us of our humanity and mobilize fear and trauma to create an other. And most importantly, it will explore the liberatory possibilities of reconceptualizing identity and aspiring toward belonging without othering.


Location: Calvin Simmons Theatre 


Saturday, April 27, 2024