Helen Makhdoumian

Helen head shot

“A Map of This Place: Resurgence and Remembering Removal in Armenian, Palestinian, and American Indian/First Nations Literatures.

My dissertation develops a connective study of how memories of dispossession and removal travel spatially, intergenerationally, and across cultures. By drawing out the knots of critical and creative reflection on remembrance practices that appear across these seemingly disparate literary archives, my project carries forward two developing theoretical frameworks within contemporary cultural memory studies: one, the migration of memory and two, migration and memory. The first framework emphasizes how memory “travels” across territorial and social boundaries (Erll 12). The second framework studies the incorporation of immigrants into a host nation’s polity via their participation in that state’s collective memory (Glynn and Kleist 4). My project aims to trouble the Eurocentric lineage of critical theory that undergirds these two frameworks. It does so by engaging conversations about indigeneity, sovereignty, and witnessing often missing in previous applications of them. “A Map of This Place” thus brings Indigenous studies and settler colonial studies to the center of transnational and transcultural memory studies.