Memory, trauma, and morality

Cover from Jeffrey Blustein\'s The Moral Demands of Memory.

Cover from Jeffrey Blustein's The Moral Demands of Memory.

Supersonic Sue Campbell has just posted a detailed review of Jeff Blustein’s recent book The Moral Demands of Memory over at NDPR. Blustein’s book is focused on collective memory, trauma, responsibility, and identity, and has a sweep that few books in the field have. Sue draws on her knowledge of collective memory in the context of the residential schools commission in Canada in writing the review, as well as other concrete contexts (e.g., post-Holocaust studies). Check out the whole shebang if you’re interested; here’s a tease. Campbell says, in summary, that Blustein’s book:

is deeply indebted to a range of diverse literatures, carefully and extensively footnoted, and though the book is fairly long, it sustains an impressive momentum. Indeed the last two chapters — on remembrance and rituals of memorializing as love, care, and respect for the dead, and on the nature and importance of bearing witness — do a great deal to persuasively integrate personal with collective memory through reflection on the importance of communal practice as a response to memory’s personal and political fragility. They also draw expansively on a range of philosophical frameworks to contribute new and genuine insight into how values, emotions, and critical attitudes of moral acknowledgement are expressively constituted through various modes of remembrance.

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One thought on “Memory, trauma, and morality

  1. It’s my first Bioethics Course in college, and Professor Blustein is an amazing Professor. I’m privileged to have the opportunity to be taught by such a knowledgeable person.

    I got a big fat C on my first paper, though. [=

    Haha.

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