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In Praise of Forgetting: Historical Memory and its Ironies- A talk with David Rieff
April 26, 2016 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Join us on Tuesday, April 26th in Olin 102 at 7PM for a talk with David Rieff on his new book “In Praise of Forgetting”
David Rieff is the author of many books, including Slaughterhouse: Bosnia and the Failure of the West, A Bed for the Night: Humanitarianism in Crisis, and, most recently, The Reproach of Hunger: Food, Justice, and Money in the 21st Century. He lives in New York City.
In his Book “In Praise of Forgetting”, He poses hard questions about whether remembrance ever truly has, or indeed ever could, “inoculate” the present against repeating the crimes of the past. He argues that rubbing raw historical wounds—whether self-inflicted or imposed by outside forces—neither remedies injustice nor confers reconciliation. If he is right, then historical memory is not a moral imperative but rather a moral option—sometimes called for, sometimes not. Collective remembrance can be toxic. Sometimes, Rieff concludes, it may be more moral to forget.
Ranging widely across some of the defining conflicts of modern times—the Irish Troubles and the Easter Uprising of 1916, the white settlement of Australia, the American Civil War, the Balkan wars, the Holocaust, and 9/11—Rieff presents a pellucid examination of the uses and abuses of historical memory. His contentious, brilliant, and elegant essay is an indispensable work of moral philosophy.
We Hope to see you there!!