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The Narrative Architecture of Political Forgiveness
Start Date: 10/18/2018Start Time: 4:00 PM
End Date: 10/18/2018End Time: 5:15 PM
Event Description
Please join the Departments of Sociology and Politics for "The Narrative Architecture of Political Forgiveness" with Dr. Molly Andrews, PhD. Although there is widespread agreement with the argument that Hannah Arendt made more than half a century ago, that forgiveness is "one of the human faculties that make social change possible," beyond this, there is little consensus of what it means. Applying a narrative structure to this discussion, there is a lack of clarity around questions of who, what, where, when, and why to forgive.


This lecture will explore the politics of forgiveness in East Germany, as well as how the fraught process of forgiveness embodies not consensus but contest, as people disagree on key questions such who has the right to forgive whom, for what, how long the window for the opportunity of forgiveness stays open, and even why these questions matter, not only for individuals but for the whole of society.

This event is free and open to the public, and is co-sponsored by the departments of Sociology and Politics.

Molly Andrews, PhD, is the author or editor of seven books, including "Narrative Imagination and Everyday Life" (Oxford 2014), "Shaping History: Narratives of Political Change" (Cambridge 2007). For the past 20 years, Andrews has been listening to, and writing about, the stories which people tell about their lives, specifically focusing on their perception of the political world and their role within it. She has conducted research projects in Britain (life histories with lifetime socialists), the United States (analyzing anti-war activism as an expression of patriotism), East Germany (accounting for national identity in the context of the demise of one’s country) and South Africa (examining testimonies before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission).

Contact Information:
Name: Dorian Adams
Phone: 215.895.1314
Social Science and Humanities Lab, Room 224, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
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