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Irene Kacandes

Future Perfect or New Europeans (24.11.2015)

In this talk, I will review my concept of co-witnessing (Kacandes: Talk Fiction. 2001) and then position us, vis-à-vis some trenchant examples, for a group discussion about the current “refugee” situation:  Which stories, which traumas exactly, are in the news? Who is authorizing him/herself or is being authorized to co-witness to those stories? Who is listening?  What events and peoples are being left out altogether?  And the culminating question behind my title:  What is the future perfect—here I obviously mean in the grammatical sense, with a play on the words’ connotations—of that selective co-witnessing (or lack of it)?  When such and such will have happened, what will Europe’s future be?  A specific component that interests me passionately concerns whether some individuals will be allowed to have become “new Europeans.”


Prof. Dr. Irene Kacandes

Main Research Interests

  • Modern Greek Literature
  • Narrative Theory
  • 20th-Century Cultural Studies

Publications (selected)

  • Daddy's War: Greek American Storytelling, Family Memory, and Trauma. A Paramemoir. Lincoln: The University of Nebraska Press, 2009.
  • With S. Denham and J. Petropoulos: A User's Guide to German Cultural Studies. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1997.