Portraitfoto Dr. Kathrin Antweiler

Dr. Katrin Antweiler

Remembrance as a Social Norm? Paradoxes of Collective Memory in a Postmigrant Society

The “promise of plural democracy”, as it is derived from the lessons of National Socialism, continuously produces new contradictions because the norm of equality for all that is enshrined in the German Basic Law, and the exclusion and disintegration experienced by many people, often do not coincide. Taking this dissonance as a starting point, my project – a multi-sited ethnography – examines civil society initiatives that have been offering educational programs on the Holocaust to people who have fled to Germany since 2015. Based on the assumption that Holocaust remembrance can both convey values of German society and, at the same time, exclude people from the “national culture”, I research current forms and functions of Holocaust education programs for refugees in order to better understand how paradoxes of plural democracy are negotiated on the basis of these mnemonic practices.

Research interests
  • Memory Studies, especially Holocaust memory, memory of genocide, and multidirectional memory and global(ized) historical narratives, museum studies
  • Contradiction Studies, primarily paradoxical cultural practices and cultural practices that aim at harmonizing supposed contradictions, e.g., through citizenship education
  • Global Governmentality, especially with regards to decolonial and postcolonial critique, international relations and politics, security and securitization
  • 2022
    PhD from Justus-Liebig-University Giessen
    Project: Memorialising the Holocaust in Human Rights Museums. A Comparative Analysis of Memory as a Means of Government.
  • 2017–2022
    Full PhD Scholoarship from the International Graduate Center for the Study of Culture (GCSC).
  • 2021
    Junior Fellowship at the Center for Holocaust Studies at the Institute for Contemporary History, Munich.
  • 2018–2022
    Co-Speaker of the GCSC’s Research Area 1: Cultural Memory Studies.
  • 2019
    DAAD doctoral research scholarship.
  • 2017
    Member of the Memory Studies Association and its working group Critical Thinking on Memory and Human Rights.
  • 2016–2017
    Research Track Stipend from Humboldt Graduate School.
  • 2013–2016
    M.A. Cultural Studies, Humboldt-University Berlin, Germany.
  • 2009–2013
    B.A. Cultural Research and Gender Studies, University of Bremen, Germany.


  • Memorialing the Holocaust in Human Rights Museums, 2023. Berlin: De Gruyter

Articles (peer-reviewed)

Publications without peer review


  • “Efforts in Futurity beyond Reconciliation” [review of: Chavez, Y./Mithlo, N. M. (Hg.). Visualizing Genocide. Indigenous Interventions in Art, Archives, and Museums]. In: International Affairs 99(6), 2023, pp. 2522-23 https://doi.org/10.1093/ia/iiad265.
  • Erinnerungskultur im Spannungsfeld zwischen universellen und partikularen Perspektiven [Review on: Natan Sznaider, Fluchtpunkte der Erinnerung. Über Gegenwart von Holocaust und Kolonialismus. Berlin, Hanser Literaturverlage 2022]. In: Einsicht 2022. Bulletin des Fritz Bauer Instituts.
  • Prescribed Anti-Racism? Historic and Contemporary Challenges to a Global Memory Imperative [Review on: Gilbert, S./ Alba, A.: Holocaust Memory and Racism in the Postwar World]. In: KULT_online 61 (2020).
  • At the Limits of Transformation? Human Rights Education Between Colonial Conditions and Emancipatory Counter-Projects [Review on: Zembylas, M.& Keet, A. (eds.): Critical Human Rights, Citizenship and Democracy Education, Entanglements and Regenerations. London: Bloomsbury, 2018]. In: KULT_online 57 (2019).
Talks, Workshops, and Events
  • 2021
    Organization of a panel on Memory and the Future for the (digital) annual conference of the Memory Studies Association.
  • 2020
    Co-Organization of the international conference Memories for the Future? Narrating Horizons of Hope in Contemporary Politics out of History (held digitally at JLU Giessen).

“Contradictions need to be articulated in order to exist.”

Martin Nonhoff
l’illusion d’une unité

“Foucault speaks of contradiction as l’illusion d’une unité.”

Ingo H. Warnke
decolonial scholarship

“Creating decentralizing and decolonizing scholarship on contradiction, contradictory phenomena, and contradicting processes is a challenging task.”

Kerstin Knopf
Bhabha on enlightenment and coloniality

“Homi Bhabha says about the contradiction between the ideals of the enlightenment, claims to democracy and solidarity and simultaneous colonization and ongoing coloniality: ‘That ideological tension, visible in the history of the West as a despotic power, at the very moment of the birth of democracy and modernity, has not been adequately written in a contradictory and contrapuntal discourse of tradition.’”

Kerstin Knopf
Afterlife of colonialism

“Contradiction comes in many different forms. None is so debilitating than when the coloniser transitions, textually not politically, to decoloniality without taking the responsibility for the afterlife of colonialism, which they continue to benefit from. Self-examination and self-interrogation of the relations of coloniality, a necessity, seem nearly impossible for the coloniser who continues to act as beneficiary, masked in the new-found language of White fragility, devoid of an ethical responsibility of the very system of White domination they claim to be against.” (Black Consciousness and the Politics of the Flesh)

Rozena Maart