The College of Charleston’s Jewish Studies Program hosts author James E. Young for a slide-based lecture on his book The Stages of Memory: Reflections on Memorial Art, Loss, and the Spaces Between on Wed. Feb. 7. at 7:30 p.m. at CofC’s Stern Center Ballroom. The lecture is free to attend.

The Stages of Memory takes an in-depth look at how countries memorialize atrocities, including those that they caused themselves. Young discusses a range of memorials, including the 9/11 Memorial in New York City, Berlin’s Denkmal for Europe’s Murdered Jews, and Germany’s Holocaust counter-monuments. His book explores how nations treat their victims and how they cope with their shame.

These themes feel pertinent to the Charleston community and how it’s handling the statue of John C. Calhoun in Marion Square. Last October, the Charleston History Commission wrote a first draft for a plaque that would be added to the monument describing the stains on Calhoun’s legacy. The plaque is intended to portray the full picture of Calhoun and to be a reminder of the horrors of slavery.

James E. Young is a professor of English and Near Eastern & Judaic Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he is also the Founding Director of the Institute for Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies. He has also served on the design selection committee for the Berlin Denkmal and as a member of the jury for New York City’s September 11 Memorial design competition. His book The Stages of Memory was published by the University of Massachusetts press in 2016 to critical acclaim.

James’ lecture at CofC will also serve as the official launch for the Arnold Nemirow Fund for Holocaust Studies, which will fund student research projects dealing with the Holocaust.

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