Neo-Fascism. Transatlantic Talks

In recent years, a rise of authoritarian, antidemocratic movements and regimes has been observed around the world. These are not only similar in their revisionist referencing of a fictitious »past«, they also interconnect and mobilize many for protests that attempt to erode our democracies in increasingly aggressive ways. It is time for some transatlantic talks to analyze these neofascist dynamics and examine their historical precursors and causes. Curated by Carolin Emcke, host of the »Streitraum« discussion series since 2004, and writer Daniel Mendelsohn, editor-at-large of the New York Review of Books, the conference looks at neofascist movements from a transatlantic perspective. In four panels, guests from Europe and the USA will discuss questions including: When and why should fascism be called by that name? What does it mean for democracy when there no longer is a public sphere in which a distinction can be made between »true« and »false«? Where does a democracy’s selfreflection take place when conspiracy theories and discursive manipulations can no longer be filtered out? Whose emotions, whose anger is consistently normalized and legitimized by populist mobilization – and whose fear, whose grief is permanently delegitimized and repressed? How can a pluralized version of history be achieved? How can the various experiences and memories of different experiences of violence be equally acknowledged and transmitted?

Held on two afternoons, the Transatlantic Talks will facilitate a unique and direct exchange of ideas between guests who will be discussing live with each other in New York and Berlin. All discussions will also be accessible as a live stream in English and in German.


February 5, 4 pm
PANEL 1: When do we start calling fascism by its name?
Berlin: Michel Wieviorka, Stefanie Schüler-Springorum 
Oxford: Timothy Garton Ash

February 5, 6:30 pm
PANEL 2: Demagogy and normalization
Berlin: Joseph Vogl
New York: Fintan O'Toole, Bonnie Honig 

February 6, 4 pm
PANEL 3: Antidemocratic Networks within Democracies
Berlin: Heike Kleffner, Antonia von der Behrens
New York: Darryl Pinckney

February 6, 6:30 pm
PANEL 4: Memorial Culture
Berlin: Aleida Assmann, Sharon Dodua Otoo 
New York: Daniel Mendelsohn

Duration: ca. 90 minutes

The project is funded by the Foundation Erinnerung, Verantwortung und Zukunft (EVZ) and the Federal Ministry of Finance.