Ralph Buchenhorst

Ralph BuchenhorstNetwork Member

Ralph Buchenhorst is Visiting Associate Professor at Emory College of Arts and Sciences, Atlanta. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Vienna (Ph.D. thesis about Heidegger’s philosophy of art and Paul Celan’s theory of poetry) and his habilitation (German qualification for full professorship) from the University of Potsdam (on the philosophical discourse on the representation of the Holocaust). Buchenhorst has been a DAAD guest professor of philosophy and cultural studies at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina (2002-2006), and at the European Forum of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel (2013). He is a specialist in Critical Theory, genocide studies and memory discourses on the Holocaust and on the victims of the last dictatorship in Argentina.

He is co-editor of “Surviving genocide: On what remains and the possibility of representation” (Routledge, forthcoming), and author of “Das Element des Nachlebens. Zur Frage der Darstellbarkeit der Shoah in Philosophie, Kulturtheorie und Kunst” (The Element of Afterlife. On the Limits of the Shoah’s Representation in Philosophy, Cultural Theory and Art, Fink 2011) and has published extensively on aesthetic representation and remembrance.

Current position
Visiting Associate Professor
University affiliation
Emory College of Arts and Sciences, Atlanta


1. Contested history in the field of violent pasts: How to create a common European memory?

Historical narratives are crucial for the creation and stabilization of a collective identity. These narratives are still bound to national borders and resist attempts to melt into a common European memory. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, politicians have been taking steps to institutionalize a common memory as the core of a European identity. The research project wants to scrutinize European memory sites to answer the question if these sites approach a national or European perspective, or both. It will be analyzed if national memories still apply competitive concepts or try to intertwine remembrances following the idea of a multidirectional memory.

2. Transatlantic travelling models: theories of modernity between Europe and Latin America.

The methodological focus of this research project is on the motion of people, artefacts, and models in contemporary and historical contexts. Along its path, these movable elements change as they enter new contexts and adapt accordingly, bringing along the transformation of both the new and the original context. On a less open-ended level, my research interest lies in embedded ideas of the concept of modernity that move in a mediatised form – i.e. through epistemological orders or works of art. Neither the preconditions nor the consequences of the global movement of European theories of modernity are sufficiently understood, nor are the new frameworks for the integration of these elements. Therefore, elements of European theories of modernity (by authors like Max Weber, Walter Benjamin, Anthony Giddens, Ulrich Beck et al.) are being tested by confronting them with critic approaches to them in Latin America, where authors like Walter Mignolo, Anibal Quijano and Enrique Dussel cooperate in a critique of modernity from outside the mechanisms of European models of progress and enlightenment.


  • Moradi, Fazil, Ralph Buchenhorst, and Maria Six-Hohenbalken (2017) "Memory and genocide: on what remains and the possibility of representation." London and New York: Routledge.
  • Buchenhorst, Ralph (forthcoming) (2017) "Field, forum, and vilified art: recent developments in the representation of mass violence and its remembrance" in Memory and genocide: on what remains and the possibility of representation , edited by Moradi, Fazil, Buchenhorst, Ralph, and Maria Six-Hohenbalken London: Routledge
  • Buchenhorst, Ralph (forthcoming) (2016) "Zur Matrix globalen Erinnerns: das Gedenken an die Shoah im transnationalen Kommunikationsraum." in Geschichtspolitik und Erinnerungskultur global , edited by Claudia Fröhlich and Harald Schmid. Jahrbuch für Politik und Geschichte. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner
  • Buchenhorst, Ralph (2016) "Ding und Gedanken: zur Bedeutung von Materialität und Authentizität in Erinnerungskulturen." in Materilitäten: Herausforderungen für die Sozial- und Kulturwissenschaften 113-132 , edited by Herbert Kalthoff, Tobias Roehl and Torsten Cress München: Fink
  • Buchenhorst, Ralph (forthcoming) (2016) "Erinnerung als Netzwerk: offener Bezug in Prozessen der Aufarbeitung von Vergangenheiten." in Erinnerung(en) und Geschichtskonstruktionen in Lateinamerika und Europa: Zwischen nationaler Selbstvergewisserung und transnationalen Dynamiken , edited by Stefan Rinke, Inga Luther and Franka Bindernagel
  • Buchenhorst, Ralph, ed. (2015) "Von Fremdheit lernen: zum produktiven Umgang mit Erfahrungen des Fremden im Kontext der Globalisierung." Bielefeld: Transcript
  • Buchenhorst, Ralph (2015) "'... as if the shame before the victims would be offended' - Adorno's verdict on Arnold Schoenberg's A survivor from Warsaw." in Music and genocide , edited by Wojtek Klimczyk and Agata Swierzowska, 155-170. Frankfurt am Main [et al.]: Peter Lang