Arguing that the politics of democracy is inseparable from a notion of dialogue that emerges from conflicting and often traumatic memories, Democracy, Dialogue, Memory examines the importance of dialogue for the achievement of understanding in civil society rather than consensus, so that democratic participation and inclusion can be strengthened. With attention to the importance for marginalized communities of the ability to disclose fundamental ethnic, religious, gendered, racial, or personal and affective characteristics born of trauma, and so cease to represent "otherness," this book brings together studies from Europe, Israel and the United States of literary and visual attempts to expand dialogue with "the other," particularly where democracies are prone to vacillating between the desire to endorse otherness, and political dread of the other. A critique of the practices of forced inclusion and forced consensual negotiation, that seeks to advance dialogue as a crucial safeguard against the twin dangers of exclusion and enforced assimilation, Democracy, Dialogue, Memory will appeal to scholars with interests in political theory, political sociology, collective and contested memory and civil society at the same time as allowing scholars from the humanities and the arts to examine seminal chapters that pivot on psychoanalytical approaches to literature, film and philosophy at the borderline of political thinking.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Revisitng the Political Value of Culturally Versatile Everyday Expressions of
Democracy, Dialogue, Memory (Idit Alphandary and Leszek Koczanowicz)
Part One: Democracy and Memory at the Crossroads of Dialogue and Tolerance in Everyday Life
1. Everyday Dialogue, Memory, and Democracy (Leszek Koczanowicz)
2. The Idea of Tolerance and Social Dialogue in the Democratic State: Remarks on Jacques Derrida’s and Jürgen Habermas’s views on the idea of tolerance in the modern liberal-democratic state (Paweł Dybel)
3. Exception, Metaphor, and Political Action: Arendt contra Schmitt (Ewa Plonowska Ziarek)
4. Radical Politics: "We, the People" or "we mortals" (Krzysztof Ziarek)
5. Dialogue as the Tool Enhancing the Effectiveness of NGO’s Activities in Modern Societies (Tomasz Grzyb, Katarzyna Byrka and Dariusz Dolinski)
Part Two: Art and Literature as Custodians of Traumatic Memory, Resistance and Forgiveness in Democracy
6. Community at the Table (Dorota Koczanowicz)
7. "The Thought from Outside Memory, Truth and the ‘Repetition of Faith’" (Ramona Fotiade)
8. "You Have to Write Your Own Life." Storytelling as the Modern Piece of Resistance (Agata Bielik-Robson)
9. Duras vs. Duras: Traumatic Memory and the Question of Deferred Retroaction (Eran Dorfman)
10. The Shifting Landscape of Jewishness in Contemporary Kafka Criticism (Abraham Rubin)
11. Forgiveness, Resentment, and Responsibility are Heterogeneous to Politics W.G. Sebald’s "Max Ferber" (Idit Alphandary)
Idit Alphandary is Senior Lecturer in Comparative Literature and the Interdisciplinary Program of the Arts at Tel Aviv University, Israel, and the editor of Consciousness Between Crisis and Empowerment: Interdisciplinary Writing on Women and Gender (2017). She is the author of numerous essays and book chapters on literature, film and visual studies seen through psychoanalysis and philosophy at the crossroads of political thought.
Leszek Koczanowicz is Professor of Philosophy and Political Science at Wroclaw Faculty of the University of Social Sciences and Humanities. He is the author and editor of twelve books and numerous articles in Polish and English, including Politics of Time: Dynamics of Identity in Post-Communist Poland; Politics of Dialogue: Non-Consensual Democracy and Critical Community; Discussing Modernity: A Dialogue with Martin Jay and Beauty, Responsibility, and Power: Ethical and Political Consequences of Pragmatist Aesthetics.
"Idit Alphandary and Leszek Koczanowicz, invited a stellar cast of scholars with widely different research interests and backgrounds to reflect on the role of dialogue in democracy. The result is a collection of chapters that are as varied in the specific issues they discuss as they are in the methodologies they adopt […]. Taken together, the book’s chapters make a convincing case for the essential role of genuine dialogue in democratic politics and an excellent contribution to the understanding of both democracy and dialogue […]. It makes a very useful contribution to the scholarly literature on dialogue and democracy, and the contributions its authors make to the specific topics they discuss are often brilliant." - W. P. Małecki, Poetics Today