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Susan Suleiman: Daughter of History

Susan Rubin Suleiman’s Daughter of History: A Memoir will be published by Stanford University Press in May. In this in-person lecture and discussion, she shares a chapter from her forthcoming book. Years ago, she wrote the brief memoir My War in Four Episodes, which appeared in a chapter in the collection “Shaping Losses: Cultural Memory and the Holocaust,” edited by Julia Epstein and Lori Hope Lefkovitz. But research for her book-length memoir on the events in Budapest in the spring, summer and fall of 1944 made her realize that the episodes she recounted there may have occurred in a different order than she had remembered. The class will read the chapter in her forthcoming memoir where she reworks the older text to consider the vagaries of memory and its relation to history. Professor Suleiman’s work highlights how we can misremember, how historical research leads to correcting mistakes, and the large subject of rewriting and revising memories.

About this series: 
American University’s Jewish Studies Program hosts the new series Acts of Remembrance: Shaping Holocaust Memory in the Twenty-First Century during spring semester 2023. Highlighting new books whose authors move back and forth between the present and the past, the series explores Holocaust history and memory from different perspectives. Some, written by survivors, their children, or grandchildren, recount the intertwined narratives of what happened to their families during the Holocaust, how they discovered this history, and how those experiences resonated in their lives. In others, journalists and scholars uncover untold stories of the Holocaust while relating how they came to discover these new narratives.


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Susan Rubin Suleiman

Susan Rubin Suleiman is the C. Douglas Dillon Research Professor (Emerita) of the Civilization of France and Research Professor of Comparative Literature at Harvard University. Born in Budapest, she emigrated to the United States as a child with her parents. She obtained her B.A. from Barnard College and her Ph.D. from Harvard University, and joined the Harvard faculty in 1981. Among her dozen books and more than 100 articles, Suleiman has written The Némirovsky Question: The Life, Death, and Legacy of a Jewish Writer in 20th-Century France (Yale University Press). The recipient of numerous honors, Suleiman has held a Guggenheim Fellowship, received France’s highest honor the Légion d’Honneur, and was a Shapiro Senior Scholar-in-Residence at the Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.
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