Keynote Speakers

Podcasts of the keynote lectures are available via the UCD Humanities Institute’s podcast channels on Soundcloud and iTunes.

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Astrid Erll

Astrid Erll is Professor of Anglophone Literatures and Cultures at Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main. She has worked on memories of the First World War, the Spanish Civil War, British colonialism in India and the Vietnam war. She is general editor of the book series Media and Cultural Memory (de Gruyter, since 2004), co-editor of A Companion to Cultural Memory Studies (with A. Nünning, 2010), Mediation, Remediation, and the Dynamics of Cultural Memory (with A. Rigney, 2009), and author of Memory in Culture (Palgrave 2011)/ Kollektives Gedächtnis und Erinnerungskulturen (2005, 2nd ed. 2011), an introduction to memory studies. She is part of the editorial board of the journal Memory Studies (SAGE) and the book series Memory Studies (Palgrave).

Her projects include: Migration and Transcultural Memory: Literature, Film, and the Social Life of Media AFRASO – The Indian Ocean as Memory Space and Transcultural Memory Narratives in Europe (COST/NITMES)

Key Publications:
‘Generation in Literary History: Three Constellations of Generationality, Genealogy, and Memory’. New Literary History, 2014, 45: 385–409.
‘From ‘District Six’ to District 9 and Back: The Plurimedial Production of Travelling Schemata.’ Chiara de Cesari & Ann Rigney (eds.): Transnational Memory: Circulation, Articulation, Scales. Berlin/New York: de Gruyter 2014. 29-50.
Memory in Culture. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan 2011.
‘Travelling Memory.’ Parallax. Special Issue Transcultural Memory. Ed. Rick Crownshaw 17.4 (2011): 4-18.
‘The social life of texts – Erinnerungsliteratur als Gegenstand der Sozialgeschichte’. IASL 36.1 (2011): 255-259.


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Michael Rothberg

Michael Rothberg is Professor of English and Comparative Literature and the 1939 Society Samuel Goetz Chair in Holocaust Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.

From 2001-2016 he taught at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. From 2003-2009 he was Director of Illinois’s Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory; from 2009-2016 he was Founding Director of the Initiative in Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies; and from 2013-2016 he was Head of the Department of English.

He works in the fields of Holocaust studies, trauma and memory studies, critical theory and cultural studies, postcolonial studies, and contemporary literatures. He is on the Editorial Board of the journals Memory Studies and Studies in American Jewish Literature, and has been a member of the International Academic Advisory Council of the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies (2010-2013) and of the Advisory Group of the AHRC-funded project Translating Freedom (2011-2012). He is also part of the Network in Transnational Memory Studies and a partner in Mnemonics: Network for Memory Studies.

Rothberg’s academic work has been published in such journals as American Literary History, Contemporary Literature, Critical Inquiry, Cultural Critique, History and Memory, History and Theory, New German Critique, and PMLA, and has been translated into French, German, Hungarian, Polish, and Spanish.

His latest book is Multidirectional Memory: Remembering the Holocaust in the Age of Decolonization (2009), published by Stanford University Press in their “Cultural Memory in the Present” series and forthcoming in French and Polish translations. He is also the author of Traumatic Realism: The Demands of Holocaust Representation (2000), and co-edited The Holocaust: Theoretical Readings (2003) with Neil Levi. Four co-edited special issues appeared in 2010-2011: Noeuds de Mémoire: Multidirectional Memory in Postwar French and Francophone Culture (Yale French Studies, co-edited with Debarati Sanyal and Max Silverman); Between Subalternity and Indigeneity: Critical Categories for Postcolonial Studies (Interventions, co-edited with Jodi A. Byrd); States of Welfare (Occasion, co-edited with Lauren M.E. Goodlad and Bruce Robbins); and Transcultural Negotiations of Holocaust Memory (Criticism, co-edited with Stef Craps).

Currently, Rothberg is completing a book called The Implicated Subject: Beyond Victims and Perpetrators, which is under contract with Stanford University Press. With Yasemin Yildiz, he is writing another book that focuses on the intersections between migration and confrontation with National Socialism and the Holocaust in contemporary Germany. That book derives from a collaborative project funded by the American Council of Learned Societies that also involved Andrés Nader.

For more information and a complete list of publications, see his personal website.


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Francoise Verges

Françoise Vergès was born in Paris and grew up in La Réunion and Algeria. She went back to Paris after high school to study Arabic and Chinese, but finally chose journalism as a career path. A journalist for 8 years (1975-1983) for the monthly then weekly journal Des Femmes en movement, she was also the editor of the collection “des femmes en lutte dans tous les pays” (women fighting in every country) for the publishing house Des femmes. For this later job, she travelled to countries under military and totalitarian dictatorships to gather women’s stories.

In 1983 she moved to the United States. She received her bachelor degree in political science and Woman’s studies with summa cum laude from the University of California, in San Diego, and a PhD in Political sciences from Berkeley University in 1995. The subject of her thesis was Monsters and Revolutionaries, Colonial Family Romance published by Duke University Press (1999)

She taught at Goldsmiths College where she is now Consulting Professor. She is also a researcher for the World Studies College, and officer for the Memorial for the abolition of slavery in Nantes. Vergès was also recently appointed as Chair of of the new department of Postcolonial Studies (“Postcolonialisme, et après…”) at the Collège d’études mondiales.

Vergès has collaborated on a number of projects outside of her academic duties: from 2003 to 2010, she elaborated the cultural and scientific program of the Maison des civilisations et de l’unité réunionnaise (House of Civilizations and of La Réunion’s Unity), a museum project created in La Réunion and from 2009 to 2012, she headed the French Committee for Remembrance and History of Slavery.

Vergès is the author of 10 books two of which translated into English. She has published extensively on postcolonial theory, creolization, psychoanalysis, slavery and the economy of predation and Frantz Fanon and Aimé Césaire. She has also directed two movies on the great Caribbean authors Aimé Césaire and Maryse Condé and organized a few exhibitions at the Louvre on slavery and women.

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