Abstract Conceptual literature has, in its present incarnation, only existed for the past 15 years or so. Typical readings of this literature often reduce the works to being exclusively connected with institutional critique, a discussion of authorship, etc. In my dissertation, I adopt several new angles from which conceptual literature is usually not approached. I analyze how certain parts of conceptual literature contribute performatively to cultural memory production. Via documentary and pseudo-documentary remediation strategies, conceptual literature examines pre-existing cultural material. Conceptual literature negotiates specific distributions of the sensible, to borrow a key concept from the French philosopher Jacques Rancìere: How the world is perceived, what is given value, what can be seen and heard. Literature can consequently be generative and performative and, in itself, play an active role in the continued production and interpretation of collective memory. How do we, for example, approach the large number of conceptual representations of the Holocaust. Can parts of the conceptual literature be compared with witness literature. Can their forms of appeal, ambitions and means be compared and could one, in fact, argue that there is such a thing as conceptual witness literature. I discuss works of, among other authors, Robert Fitterman, Charles Reznikoff, Heimrad Bäcker, Esther Dischereit, Åke Hodell, Vanessa Place and Franck Leibovici, and I apply theories that concern cultural memory, performativity, place, voice, conceptual literature and witness literature. With my dissertation, I hope to contribute to filling in some of the obvious gaps and voids that exist in relation to much conceptual literature, which has not been read very thoroughly or very often, nor has there, at the local Danish level, previously been any actual mapping or international contextualization of this phenomenon.
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