The Afterlife of the Shoah in Central Eastern European Cultures: Concepts, Problems, and the Aesthetic of the Postcatastrophic Narration

L’Université d’Hambourg accueillera du 28 au 31 mai 2017 la conférence : « The Afterlife of the Shoah in Central Eastern European Cultures: Concepts, Problems, and the Aesthetic of the Postcatastrophic Narration ». Les langues de travail seront l’allemand et l’anglais.

Les candidatures sont à soumettre avant le 22 mai 2016.

Ci-dessous l’appel à contribution. Vous trouverez également sa version allemande sur le site hsozkult.

The Afterlife of the Shoah in Central Eastern European Cultures: Concepts, Problems, and
the Aesthetic of the Postcatastrophic Narration

Contemporary cultural studies dealing with the Shoah are strongly influenced by the concept of postmemory (Hirsch 1997). The focus is on the communication and visualization of the traumatic events of the so-called second and third generation, who have taken this as part of a family transfer perspective. Accordingly, the post memorial recollection takes place through images, stories, behaviors, and emotions. Thus, they often have a phantom-like character (Abraham 1991).

The generational and temporal distance to the Shoah is also included in another concept, the concept of the postcatastrophy (see Artwińska / Czapliński / Molisak / Tippner 2015; Artwińska / Tippner 2016). Similar to the concept of postmemory, postcatastrophy does not lay its focus on the actual events in World War II, but takes a look at the effects of the catastrophe of the Shoah. This semantic shift means that we are no longer asking what happened, but rather how we receive knowledge about the facts. Both concepts do not conceive of the extreme experience as a state, but as a process which extends into the postcatastrophic situation. In contrast to the concept of postmemory which stresses individual transmission within the family, postcatastrophy is more focused on collective constellations. Especially since the spectrum of the afterlife of the Shoah also includes things, objects, remains, and ruins whose transmission is not primarily defined in terms of (biological) inheritance. Another feature of the postcatastrophic concept is its comparative perspective in the sense of a multidirectional memory (Rothberg 2009). This includes the memory of other victims of Nazi crimes (including Romanies, political prisoners, forced laborers, prisoners of war), the anti-Semitism of the pre- and post-war period, the Holodomor in Ukraine (1932-1933), of Stalinism, the expulsion of Germans from Czechoslovakia, and from the former German eastern territories, etc. Thus, the concept of postcatastrophy serves to integrate the Shoah not only in the context of national socialist crimes, but to consider it in a semantic proximity to other crises of the 20th century, in order to work out their peculiarities or differences.

Talks could address:
– postcatastrophy as an interpretative framework for contemporary memories of the Shoah,
– the re-presentation of the Shoah and the concept of generations,
– topographies and postcatastrophic memorial sites,
– the cultural afterlife of Holocaust things and Holocaust objects,
– techniques of writing, and poetics in the contemporary transmission of the memory of the Shoah (inter alia re-presentation (re-call), album-like illustrative methods, alienation).

Please send an exposé of the contribution (not more than 500 words) and brief biographical details until 22 May 2016 to katarzyna.adamczak@uni-hamburg.de.
Conference languages are German and English.

Kontakt

Katarzyna Adamczak
Institut für Slavistik, Universität Hamburg
+49 40 42838 2661
katarzyna.adamczak@uni-hamburg.de


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