CoHLIT-21 Berlin Seminar on German Literature and the Holocaust, ZfL Berlin
9–10 Mar 2022, Leibniz-Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung Berlin (ZfL)
Organizers: Prof. Vivian Liska (University of Antwerp), Prof. Kris Van Heuckelom (KU Leuven), Prof. Michal Ben-Horin (Bar-Ilan University), Dr. Matthias Schwartz (ZfL)
The next seminar of the CoHLIT-21 consortium is dedicated to German literature since 2000 and will take place (in a hybrid format) on 9–10 March, 2022 under the auspices of ZfL Berlin.
The Holocaust and the catastrophe of WWII played a central role in the historical narrative/s that influenced the creation of German collective memory in the 20th century. In 1989 the reunification of Germany shifted this memory in various, to some extent contradictory directions, in which old and new issues regarding perpetrators vs. victims, as well as questions of guilt, suffering and shame, gained dominance in the German historical narrative. Aleida Assmann described what she called “the emotionalizing of history” and showed how personal testimonies became a central element in the formation of the German historical narrative. This is also demonstrated in the realm of German literature that was associated with a “new paradigm.”
Since the turn of the 21st century, German literature writes and rewrites historical events connected to the Holocaust and WWII into a larger narrative of the German twentieth century. What can we learn from looking at these literary repertoires (for children, young adults and adults) from a comparative multicultural and multilingual perspective?
Possible themes for lectures and workshop presentations (no longer than 30 minutes) include, but are not limited to:
- A shift (post-2000 literature) in the poetic representation of the Holocaust?
- Emergence of new literary genres in dealing with Holocaust memories
- Representational modes: intertextuality and multimodality, including the influence of recent technologies and new performative platforms
- The role of institutions, including pedagogical and educational programs, museums and monuments connected to books and literature
- Poetic representations of perpetrators, victims, bystanders
- Migration and refugees, gender, conflicting memories and contesting narratives
- Transgenerational controversy and public debates on literary Holocaust memory
In view of the comparatist and multilingual scope of the CoHLIT-21 project, we particularly welcome proposals that connect the German context with cases taken from contemporary Russian, Polish, Hebrew, American-English and Dutch-language literature. If you are interested in presenting in this seminar, please send a short proposal to Vivian Liska (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Michal Ben-Horin (email@example.com). For all practical matters (travel, accommodation, …), please get in touch with Jan Morrens (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Confirmed speakers include Prof. Dr. Silke Horstkotte (Universität Leipzig) and Dr. Hadassah Stichnothe (Universität Bremen).
The deadline for paper proposals is February 11, 2022.