The conversation series Counter-Memories
investigates a number of international monuments and places of remembrance whose symbolic significance often reveals a great deal about our relationship to history. The Goethe-Institutes in North America, the Goethe Pop Up Kansas City, the Thomas Mann House, and Onassis LA convene artists, activists, and intellectuals for illustrated virtual conversations around historical memory.
The episode will be released here at 2:00 pm (EST) on April 2, 2021.
About the Place of Remembrance
Vietnamese-American novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen and historian Drew Faust engage in a conversation about the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. – a black granite wall engraved with the names of Americans who died in the Vietnam War, often cited among the most highly controversial armed conflicts in United States history. Departing from this specific monument, Faust and Ngyuen ask: Do war monuments not only commemorate but also victimize certain groups? What role can ‘counter–memories’ play in this dominant memorial landscape? Nguyen suggests that “while memory evolves, statues are fixed moments in time.” This episode sheds light on different ways of thinking about memory and the trauma of war today.
© Viet Thanh Nguyen
Viet Thanh Nguyen
is a Vietnamese-American novelist. He is the Aerol Arnold Chair of English and Professor of English and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. Nguyen’s debut novel, The Sympathizer
, won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. His latest book, The Committed
, was published in 2021.
© Professor Drew Faust
is a historian and former President of Harvard University, where she retains her title as a Professor of History. Faust has been included in the Forbes list of “100 Most Powerful Women” multiple times. Her latest book This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War
was published by Knopf.
is a cooperation between the Goethe-Institutes North-America, the Onassis Foundation Los Angeles and the Thomas Mann House in collaboration with the project Shaping the Past