Institute for Social Justice


Dr Magdalena Zolkos

Dr Magdalena Zolkos

Magdalena is a political theorist specializing in the fields of memory politics; historical justice and reconciliation; cultural and psychoanalytic trauma theory; emotions and affect; contemporary democratic theory; and feminist theory. 

She has held the Izaak Killam Postdoctoral position at the Department of Political Science, University of Alberta (Canada); the Irmgard Coninx Research Grant at Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin  Sozialforschung (Berlin); and Marie Curie Research Fellowship at the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Kent at Canterbury (UK).

She is interested in how the legacy of historical trauma affects the trajectories of democratic transition and consolidation, conditions the play of affective politics, and inspires, though at times also constrains, practices of emancipatory politics and resistance. She is currently working on two research projects. The first project focuses on traumatic memory objects and mnemonic object-worlds in politics and ethics of response to historical injustice. The second project concerns the aesthetics and discourses of memorialization in contemporary Europe.

  • Articles

    2015: ‘The ‘Origins’ of European Fascism. Memory of Violence in Michael Haneke’s The White Ribbon’, European Legacy, 20(3): 205-223.

    2014: ‘Aporias of Belonging: Jean Améry on “Being a Jew without Judaism” and the Tradition of Conscious Pariah’, Journal of European Studies, 44(4): 362-377.

    2011: (co-written with Gerda Roelvink) ‘Climate Change as Experience of Affect’, Angelaki. Journal of the Theoretical Humanities, 16(4): 43-57.

    2011: ‘Violent Affects: Nature and the Feminine in Lars von Trier’s Antichrist‘, Parrhesia. A Journal of Critical Philosophy, 13: 177-189.

    2011: ‘Can there be Costless War? Violent Exposures and (In)Vulnerable Selves in Benjamin Percy’s ‘Refresh, Refresh”, Critical Horizons. A Journal of Philosophy and Social Theory, 12(2): 251-269.

    2010: ‘Apocalyptic Writing, Trauma and Community in Imre Kertesz’s Fateless’, Angelaki. Journal of the Theoretical Humanities, 15(3): 87-98.

    2009: ‘Reconciliation – No Pasaran. Trauma, Testimony and Language for Paul Celan’, European Legacy, 14(3): 269-282.

    2007: ‘Jean Amery’s Philosophy of Resentment at the Crossroads of Ethics and Politics’, European Legacy, 12(1): 23-38.

  • Book Chapters

    2014: ‘Apocalyptic Theory of Witnessing in Jonathan Littell’s The Kindly Ones’ in Monica Germana & Aris Mousoutzanis, eds., Apocalyptic Discourse in Contemporary Culture. Post-Millennial Perspectives on the End of the World (London: Routledge): 148-161.

    2013: ‘Redressive Politics and the Nexus of Trauma, Transitional Justice and Reconciliation’ in C.Braun, S.Buckley-Zistel, T. Koloma Beck, and F.Mieth, eds., Transitional Justice Theories (London: Routledge): 163-183.

    2013: ‘”Un petit geste.” Silence and Gesturality in Shoah‘ in Meera Atkinson and Michael Richardson, eds., Traumatic Affect (Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Press): 59-79.

    2011: ‘Frau Mata Hari on Trial. Seduction, Espionage and Gendered Abjection in Reunifying Germany’ in S. Buckley-Zistel and R. Stanley, eds., Gender and Transitional Justice (Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 312pp., ISBN 9780230246225): 241-263.

    2011: ‘Arendt on Marginality and Action: Metamorphic Figurations in “The Jew as Pariah”‘ in A.Yeatman, P.Hansen, M.Zolkos and C.Barbour, eds., Action and Appearance: Politics and Ethics of Writing in Hannah Arendt (New York: Continuum, 256pp., ISBN 9781441101730): 197-213.

    2010: “The Weight of the Other: Jean Laplanche and Cultural Trauma Theoryin M. Broderick and A. Traverso, eds., Trauma, Media, Art: New Perspectives (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2010; 299pp., ISBN 9781443822831): 60-78.

    2010: ‘The Subject “At the Gates of the Polis”: Theorizing Transitional Civic Order from the Site of Trauma’ in A.Yeatman and M.Zolkos, eds., State, Security and Subject Formation (New York: Continuum, 2009, 194pp., ISBN 9780826442840): 86-100.

    2008: ‘Forgiveness, Theologies of Justice and Amery’s Resenting Subject’ in J.-J. Defert, T.Tchir and D.Webb, eds., Declensions of the Self: A Bestiary of Modernity (Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholar Press, ISBN 1-84718-726-9): 154-169.

  • Monographs

    2010: Reconciling Community and Subjective Life. Trauma Testimony as Political Theorizing in the Work of Jean Amery and Imre Kertesz (New York: Continuum).

  • Edited Volumes

    2011: On Jean Amery: Philosophy of Catastrophe (Langham: Lexington Press).

    2011: (co-edited with A.Yeatman, P.Hansen, C.Barbour) Action and Appearance: Ethics and the Politics of Writing in Hannah Arendt (New York: Continuum).

    2010: (co-edited with A.Yeatman) State, Security and Subject Formation (New York: Continuum).

    2009: (co-edited with S. Berking) Between Life and Death: Governing Populations in an Era of Human Rights(Berlin: Peter Lang).

    Kavalski, E. and Zolkos, M. (2008), Defunct Federalisms: Critical Perspectives on Federal Failure. Ashgate.