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Heidi Grunebaum


Heidi Grunebaum is a research associate at the Centre for Humanities Research, University of the Western Cape. She is currently lecturer at the Centre for African Studies, UCT and on the international editorial board of Antípoda: Revista de Antropología y Arqueología.  Her research and publications have focussed on concentration camp survivor testimonies of the Nazi genocide, mediations of testimonies to the TRC, representations of time and social change, and on the structural and spatial afterlives of colonial and apartheid state violence.  Her current research examines the intersections between spatialised, textual and visual representations of war and forced depopulation, forms of spatial affect, environmental discourses and narratives of place in South Africa and in Palestine/Israel.

Research Interests

  • The politics of time, representation and social remembrance after state violence
  • Narratives of war, slavery and forced displacement
  • Theories of spatiality, environmental discourse and historical remembrance
  • Critical approaches to transitional justice and psychosocial integration after war



Memorialising the Past:  Everyday Life in South Africa after the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (New Jersey: Transaction, forthcoming October 2010).


(Journal Articles)

Guest editor of special issue of Antípoda: Revista de Antropología y Arqueología “Violencia, Reparación y Tecnologías del Recuerdo: Perspectivas desde África y América Latina” 4, January-June (2007).

“Unburying the Dead in ‘The Mother City’: Urban Topographies of Erasure” in PMLA, Special issue on “Cities”. 122.1 (January) 2007: 210 - 219.

--and Yazir Henri. “Jenseits der Regenbogennation: Reflektionen uber Gewalt und Erinnerung im heutigen Kapstadt.” Trans.Franziska Pommer. Im Inneren der Globalisierung: Psychosoziale Arbeit in Gewaltkontexten. medico-Report 26. 2005: 82-91.

"Talking to Ourselves "Amongst the Innocent Dead": On Reconciliation, Forgiveness and Mourning". PMLA. 117.2 (March) 2002: 306-310.

--and Yazir Henri. "Auf der Suche nach einer geteilten Menschlichkeit im Kampf für den Frieden." Trans.Thomas Siebert.  Fantomas. 1.1 (April) 2002.

“Re-placing Pasts, Forgetting Presents: Narrative, Place and Memory in the Time of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.” Research in African Literatures. 32.3 (August 2001): 198-212.

“Saying the Unspeakable: Language and Identity after Auschwitz as a       Narrative Model for Memory in South Africa.” Current Writing 8. 2 (1996):             13-22.

(Articles in Books)

“On the time-spaces of Zionist narratives: Notes from two journeys to South Africa Forest/Lubya village, Lower Galillee” in Na’eem Jeenah and Garth LePere (eds.), Locating Ethnic States in a Cosmopolitan World: The Case of Israel. Forthcoming

--and Yazir Henri,“Integrating Atrocity whilst Living the Aftermath: Testimony, Response and the Political Economy of Repair” in Rebecca Bryant and Elizabeth F. Drexler (eds.), After Violence: Institutions of Truth and Memory. University of Pennsylvania Press, forthcoming, 2010.

--, Yazir Henri and Usche Merk, “Outside the Frames:  The Politics of Memory and Social Recovery after Apartheid” in Romin Khan and Jens Erik Ambacher (eds.), Südafrika nach der Apartheid – die Grenzen der Befreiung. Berlin: Verlag Assoziation A, 2010.

--and Yazir Henri. "Where the Mountain Meets its Shadow: A Conversation of Memory and Identity and Fragmented Belonging in Present-day South Africa." Eds. Bo Strath and Ron Robins. Homelands: The Politics of Space and the Poetics of Power. Brussels: Peter Lang, 2003. 267-282.

--and Yazir Henri. "Re-membering Bodies, Producing Histories: Holocaust             Survivor Narrative and Truth and Reconciliation Commission Testimony." Eds.Jill Bennett and Rozanne Kennedy. World Memory: Global Trajectories of Trauma. London: Macmillan-Palgrave, 2003. 101-118.

--and Steven Robins. "Crossing the Colour(ed) Line: TRC Mediations of Belonging and Identity." Painted by History, Shaped by Place. Ed. Zimitri Erasmus. Cape Town: Kwela, 2001. 159-172.

“Jewishness and Otherness in Albert Memmi’s La Statue de Sel.Jewries at the Frontier. Eds. Sander Gilman and Milton Shain. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1999. 290-305.”

--and Oren Stier. “The Question (of) Remains: Remembering Shoah, Forgetting Reconciliation.” Facing the Truth. Eds. James Cochrane, John de Gruchy and Stephen Martin. Cape Town and Athens, Ohio: David Philip and Ohio University Press, 1999.  142-152.