Letters of Stone. From Nazi Germany to South Africa: Anthropological Research Between Multi-Sited Archives and Auto-Ethnography

Vortrag von Prof. Dr. Steven Robins | Stellenbosch University | 11.06.19 | Dienstag | 18:00 - 20:00 Uhr | Rotunde

At the heart of Steven Robins’s Letters of Stone: From Nazi Germany to South Africa
(Penguin, 2016), is an archive of almost a hundred letters sent from the author's family in
Berlin during the Nazi terror, to his father in South Africa. This correspondence is both the
key to a devastating family mystery, but is also a means of exploring the ways in which the
rise of eugenics and racial science was worked out in devastatingly intimate ways within
families forced to flee Europe, and to make desperately difficult choices on their journeys
around the world. Part memoir, and part history of the Holocaust and the long shadow it
still casts, Steven Robins will talk about his new book and the important questions it asks
about guilt, belonging, and our complicated relationship with the past.

Steven Robins is a professor in the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology at
the University of Stellenbosch. He has written on a wide range of topics, including the Truth
and Reconciliation Commission, the politics of land and identity, and social movements and
popular politics in South Africa. Apart from his academic writings, Steven is also a regular
newspaper op-ed contributor on issues of public concern. On 19 September 2019, the
German translation of Letters of Stone will be launched at the Kreuzberg Museum in Berlin.