15 June, 2023
Kékesi, Z., & Zombory, M. (2023). Beyond multidirectional memory: Opening pathways to politics and solidarity. Memory Studies, 0(0). https://doi.org/10.1177/17506980231176040
Our article responds to the ongoing crisis of memory politics that has brought the problem of de-politicization of memory studies scholarship to the forefront. This reflexivity is manifested in the demand for theories that explicitly address the problems of politics and solidarity. A representative theory in this regard is Michael Rothberg’s multidirectional memory that examines “the Holocaust in the age of decolonization” and offers a non-exclusive model of public remembering and reconciliation. While we acknowledge Rothberg’s attempt to overcome the “competition paradigm” of contemporary memory, we argue that the model of multidirectional memory as a politico-ethical framework of solidarity ultimately fails because of its underlying social ontology and presentist-ahistorical method of interpretation. We give a critical analysis of his model while applying the same historical and empirical focus. By doing so, we show that the direct theoretical link between memory and solidarity is the outcome of a de-politicization of the historical record. Ultimately, we make a case for Leftist-antifascist internationalism, a paradigm he misidentified as multidirectional Holocaust memory.