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Guilt, Belief, Race, and Politics of Inheritance in Post-War Germany

February 18, 2021 - 11:00am to 12:30pm
Esra Özyürek
Esra Ozyurek


Concerning Violence: A Decolonial Collaborative Research Group invites the community to the first event of 2021. Christianity, Islam, and values including secularism and human rights are universalist in principle. They invite individuals, communities, or governments to embrace them. However, in practice they are particularistic. They are considered indigenous only to certain geographies and populations and foreign imports to others. When individuals embrace beliefs they did not inherit from their parents or grandparents, such as Turkish- and Arab- background Germans embracing Holocaust memory, Germans converting to Islam, or Turks, Iranians, and Syrian refugees embracing Christianity, there is a strong tendency to render suspect the authenticity of their beliefs and actions. By looking at these tensions, Professor Özyürek explores how relations between race, religion, and memory are reconfigured in contemporary Germany. Esra Özyürek is the Sultan Qaboos Professor of Abrahamic Faiths and Shared Values at the Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge. She is the author of Nostalgia for the Modern: State Secularism and Everyday Politics in Turkey (2006, Duke University Press) and Being German, Becoming Muslim: Race, Religion, and Conversion in the New Europe (2014, Princeton University Press). She just completed a monograph with the title "Subcontracting Guilt: Holocaust Memory and Immigrant Integration in Germany." RSVP to receive the Zoom link and the readings by email. Co-sponsored by the Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies and the Department of Anthropology.

Event Sponsor: 
Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies, Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages, Department of Anthropology
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