Perpetrator Studies Network


The Guardians of Memory and the Return of the Xenophobic Right

By Valentina Pisanty.

In the concise chapters of this extended essay, Pisanty tracks the weaknesses of the dominant memory culture across a series of domains of public culture. She takes aim at the sacralization and fetishization of witness testimony, the rigid structures of collective memory, the banality of “Holocaust tourism,” the stereotypical formats of popular film, and the punitive legal culture of memory laws. One of the most salient features of that paradigm is its structuring opposition between victims and perpetrators, which Pisanty calls the “familiar schema persecuted vs. persecutor.”


Translated by Alaistar McEwan.

Preface by Michael Rothberg.

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