The field of Holocaust Studies has taken a transnational turn in recent years. Whereas scholarly attention used to focus on specific national memory cultures, it has now, almost seventy years after the onset of the Second World War, increasingly shifted towards comparative, interdisciplinary, and border-crossing perspectives. Paradoxically, within literary and cultural studies, which have traditionally been at the forefront of addressing intercultural phenomena, national parameters continue to dominate the research agenda. The persistent separation of national perspectives on the Holocaust and its artistic representation not only opposes current theoretical trends, but also contradicts the political and socio-cultural realities of the Nazi crimes. In a global age, Holocaust commemoration has undergone a process of “cosmopolitization” (Levy/Sznaider 2001), which manifests itself on multiple levels, such as, for example, in the emergence of a supranational Holocaust memory and in the transnationally inflected canon of “Holocaust art”.
The objective of the conference is to explore the transnational entangled memories of the Holocaust in Western and Eastern Europe, Israel, and North and Latin America after 1945. We broadly invite proposals that investigate one of the two following thematic aspects:
- The specifics of national commemorative cultures and their historical variability. How has the Holocaust been remembered and represented in distinct national memorial cultures and when, and why have established conventions of representation been challenged?
- The interplay between national, local and global perspectives in the medial construction of the historical event. How have interdependencies between and cultural appropriations of specific national memories contributed toward the emergence of transnational patterns of Holocaust commemoration?
The conference aims to open up a range of additional and new perspectives by re-conceptualizing the practices, conditions, and transformations of Holocaust remembrance within the framework of a more comparative and dynamic European, global cultural, intellectual, literary and political history. Proposals are encouraged from doctoral candidates and early career scholars from a range of disciplines including, but not limited to, literary and cultural studies, media studies, law, philosophy, sociology and pedagogy.
Possible topics include:
- Literary, cinematic, and artistic representations of the Holocaust
- The emergence of a European / global Holocaust memory politics
- (Trans-)Generational and gender-specific appropriations of the Holocaust
- Competing memories of the Holocaust on a sub- and supranational level
- Medial transformations of the Holocaust
- The dynamics of representational taboos regarding the Holocaust / WWII
- The musealization of the Holocaust
- The Holocaust in / and trauma studies / contemporary critical theory
- Holocaust education
Please send an abstract of no more than 300 words (in English or German) and a short CV to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The deadline for submission is June 15, 2014. Participants will be notified by early summer 2014. We intend to publish selected contributions.
Confirmed keynote speakers:
- Andrew Gross (American Studies, University of Erlangen)
- Ruth Leys (Humanities Center, Johns Hopkins University)
All queries shall be addressed to the conference organizers at the Institute for English and American Studies of the University of Hamburg, Marius Henderson (email@example.com) and Julia Lange (firstname.lastname@example.org).