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Mobilising Affective Brutality: Death Tourism and the Ecstasy of Postmemory in Contemporary American Culture

  • Pavlina Radia
Chapter
Part of the Studies in Mobilities, Literature, and Culture book series (SMLC)

Abstract

America’s war memorials—be it the United States Holocaust Memorial in Washington D.C. or the 9/11 Memorial & Museum in NYC—are important sites of retrospective witnessing. Increasingly, however, they are also sites of death tourism that mobilise affect in diverse, not always ethical ways. The chapter examines the roles that memorialisation and its affective politics play in negotiating systemic racism and its affective brutalities. Interrogating the ways in which death tourism relies on postmemory as affect and, at times, as racial and ethnic tokenism, the chapter brings death tourism into dialogue with literary texts; these include Shalom Auslander’s Hope: A Tragedy, Alissa Torres’s graphic novel, American Widow, and Amy Waldman’s The Submission, all of which challenge contemporary American culture’s commodification of memory.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pavlina Radia
    • 1
  1. 1.Nipissing UniversityNorth BayCanada

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