The Holocaust, the Colonial Turn, and the New Antisemitism
In Chapter 3, I probe the theory of multidirectional memory propounded by literary scholars in Europe and the U.S. The multidirectional-memory hypothesis was born from what those scholars call “the colonial turn” in literary and Holocaust studies. Scholars in postcolonial studies are increasingly turning to the Holocaust to approach the history and memory of colonialism, slavery, and more specifically, the events of the Algerian war. Their stated goal is to use the history and memory of the Holocaust to shed light on colonialism, especially in its French incarnation, or rather, to trigger a dialogue among collective memories. I argue that despite a praiseworthy attempt at rejecting the paradigm of competition among victims, that paradigm returns to haunt multidirectional memory. In order to legitimate its effort at finding consensus by uniting collective memories of suffering and persecution, multidirectional memory tones down the specificity of the Holocaust, and ends up neutralizing complex aspects of the Algerian war (notably, conflicting narratives of victimized groups) and more recent manifestations of Islamic terrorism and Islamic antisemitism. Not only do those blind spots prevent vigorous confrontation with resurgent antisemitism, they utterly obliterate that resurgence.
Liverpool Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.