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Canada’s Culture of Redress: Reading Reconciliation beyond the Victim Paradigm

Lecture by Hanna Teichler (Goethe University Frankfurt) on December 7
Taking up the topic of the IRTG Diversity Spring Lecture Series 2020 on Memories of Diversity – Diversity of Memory / Mémoires de la Diversité – Diversité de la mémoire, Hanna Teichler, who is a member of the Frankfurt Memory Studies Platform (Goethe University Frankfurt), will present on "Canada’s Culture of Redress: Reading Reconciliation beyond the Victim Paradigm."

December 7, 2020 from 10 am to 12 pm EST / 4 to 6 pm MET
The event will be followed by a virtual end of the year get-together!

Zoom, RSVP: elisabeth.tutschek@umontreal.ca
You will receive a link to our Zoom conference room at the Carrefour des arts et des sciences (Université de Montréal) via e-mail. Please read the following article in preparation for the session: http://www.kairostext.in/index.php/kairostext/article/view/52

In many contexts across the world, coming to terms with traumatic historical legacies has become more a matter of memory work than of obtaining legal justice. This lecture analyzes the recent Canadian process of reconciliation with their indigenous populations (dealing with the legacies of forced child removal) from a memory studies perspective, and as a reflection of this development. Broadly speaking, the field of memory studies is interested in describing how the past is remembered, who the agents of remembering are, how memories are transformed, mediated, and what these various forms of remembering reveal about a collective’s present.
Notwithstanding the importance and empowering potential of these reconciliation processes, such a shift of emphasis from obtaining criminal justice towards centering on the stories of victims discursively produces schematic and binary identities, and reinforces victimhood as a dominant identity template representing native Canadians. In this talk, I will provide a tour d’horizon of a selection of Anglophone literary texts that venture beyond what I call the victim paradigm, and explore how these texts negotiate the legacies of forcible child removal and cultural re-education. As my readings will show, such fictions of reconciliation neither hold all the answers, nor do they claim to, but are very well able to move beyond received identities and histories.

Hanna Teichler holds a PhD from the department of Anglophone Literatures and Cultures, Goethe University Frankfurt, and a M.A. degree in English, French and Portuguese philology. She works as a research associate at the department of Anglophone Literatures and Cultures at Goethe University, Frankfurt. Her PhD thesis, which analyzes reconciliation processes in Australia and Canada and their resonance in contemporary transcultural literature and film, is accepted for publication (Berghahn). Her postdoc project engages with oceanic memories. Hanna is member of the Memory Studies Association Executive Committee, the Frankfurt Memory Studies Platform and GAPS. In cooperation with Rebekah Vince, she is the series editor of the new interdisciplinary book series "Mobilizing Memories" (BRILL, forthcoming).
For more information and a list of publications see https://www.memorystudies-frankfurt.com/people/hanna-teichler-2/.
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