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The Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies (VWI) organises academic events in order to provide the broader public as well as an expert audience with regular insights into the most recent research results in the fields of Holocaust, genocide, and racism research. These events, some of which extend beyond academia in the stricter sense, take on different formats ranging from small lectures to the larger Simon Wiesenthal Lectures and from workshops addressing an expert audience to larger international conferences and the Simon Wiesenthal Conferences. This reflects the institute’s wide range of activities.


The range of events further extends to the presentation of selected new publications on the institute’s topics of interest, interventions in the public space, the film series VWI Visuals, and the fellows’ expert colloquia.



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Simon Wiesenthal Lecture
Lea David: A Shoe, a Broken Watch and Marbles – How Objects Shape our Memory and our Future

Thursday, 28. April 2022, 18:30 - 20:00

Wiener Wiesenthal Institut für Holocaust-Studien (VWI) 1010 Wien, Rabensteig 3, Research Lounge


Personal items of the missing/killed found at the sites of mass atrocities are often understood as the last tangible link with the absent person. I call such objects ‘Desire Objects’ (DOs) - not in the sense of commodities, where a desire to acquire objects stands against the ability to purchase - but because those objects instigate emotional responses that reflect different sorts of desires regarding the loved ones: that they might come back from the dead; that their memory may be prolonged in the face of their unjust death; that some sense can be made of it, and that we may come to peace with their violent passing. The logic of how and why the DOs are kept privately or donated, then preserved individually or publicly, collected, displayed, left to decay or destroyed, or, in fact, transformed into political symbols, is often obscured or taken for granted. The research asks why a muddy shoe or a child’s marble, recovered from the sites of atrocities, are different from any other muddy shoe or child’s marble.

Lea David is an Assistant Professor at the School of Sociology, University College Dublin. Her research interests cover memory, nationalism, human rights, the intersection between the Holocaust and genocide, and conflicts in the former Yugoslav countries and in Israel/Palestine. Previously, David held several postdoctoral fellowships including the Fulbright and the Mare Curie. She has published in English, Hebrew, and Serbo-Croatian. Her book The Past Can’t Heal Us: The Dangers of Mandating Memory in the Name of Human Rights was published in 2020 with Cambridge University Press and was awarded the Honourable Mention for the 2021 ASA Sociology of Human Rights Gordon Hirabayashi Award.

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Für eine Teilnahme vor Ort bitten wir um Anmeldung bis 26. April 2022, 12:00 Uhr unter This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Es gelten die 2G-Regeln (vollständig geimpft oder genesen) sowie die FFP2-Maskenpflicht. Bitte bringen Sie einen Lichtbildausweis mit.

SWL82 David

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