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Jeffrey Alexander: "Reactions to the Holocaust and other Modern Mass Murders"

Honors, Scholars and Fellows House - 127 Honors Way

Cultural sociologist Jeffrey Alexander, the Lillian Chavenson Saden Professor of Sociology at Yale University, will visit Florida State University April 6 and 7 as a 2014-2015 Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar.

During his visit, Alexander will deliver the lecture “Cultural Trauma, Social Solidarity and Moral Responsibility: Reactions to the Holocaust and other Modern Mass Murders.”

After presenting cultural trauma theory, which occurs when members of a collectivity feel they have been subjected to a horrendous event that leaves indelible marks upon their group consciousness, Alexander will focus on a series of case studies. Shifting postwar Western reactions to the Holocaust will be considered at length, but other trauma processes also will be examined: the anti-imperialist, American civil rights and indigenous people’s movements; Japan’s Nanjing Massacre and its effects on contemporary relations with China and Japan; and mass murders under the Stalinist and Maoist regimes.

Alexander, who also serves as director of Yale’s Center for Cultural Sociology, works in the areas of theory, culture and politics. He is the author or coauthor of several books, including The Dark Side of Modernity, The Civil Sphere, and The Meanings of Social Life: A Cultural Sociology. He also has served as co-editor of The Cambridge Companion to Durkheim and Social Performance: Symbolic Action, Cultural Pragmatics and Ritual.

Alexander’s visit is being sponsored by the Florida State University chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, which is the alpha chapter of Florida, and the Department of Sociology. It is being co-sponsored by the university’s Student Government Association and departments of political science, religion, philosophy, English, anthropology and communication.

Lecture Date: 

April 6, 2015, 5:30pm - 6-30pm