Susan Neiman and Gloria Wekker on facing the past

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How should we deal with our collective and violent history? This question has been researched and written about extensively by Gloria Wekker and Susan Neiman.

In her recent work White Innocence, Gloria Wekker explores a central paradox of Dutch culture: the passionate denial of racial discrimination and colonial violence coexisting alongside aggressive racism and xenophobia. Susan Neiman in her book Learning from the Germans suggests that we can learn from the German Vergangenheitsaufarbeiting (working-off-the-past) when dealing with our history of slavery. During this evening they will join in conversation to reflect upon our past and our future.

Susan Neiman studied philosophy at Harvard and the Freie Universität Berlin, and was professor of philosophy at Yale and Tel Aviv University. She is the author of a.o. Evil in Modern Thought, Fremde sehen anders, Moral Clarity: A Guide for Grown-up Idealists and Learning from the Germans: Race and the Memory of Evil. In this latest book Neiman asks what we can learn from the Germans about confronting the evils of the past.

Gloria Wekker holds a PhD in socio-cultural anthropology from UCLA and is emeritus professor in Gender and Ethnicity at the Faculty of the Humanities of Utrecht University. In 2016 she published White Innocence: Paradoxes of Colonialism and Race, about racism in the Netherlands. Between 2019- 2021, she holds the Willem-Alexander Chair for Low Lands Studies at the University of Liege, Belgium.


Susan NeimanFoto: Bettina Volke
Gloria WekkerFoto: Cora Hendriks

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