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Holocaust & Rememberance (11)

Forms, spaces, and discourses of Holocaust memorialization.

Section 11 examines the ongoing struggle with the Holocaust and forms of rememberance dedicated to this dark chapter of history in various social arenas. It's precisely in this day and age, when survivors and witnesses are fewer and fewer, that it's all the more important to uphold the rememberance of the Holocaust and anchor it within our cultural memory for the long term – for the members of Section 11, that means dedicating ourselves to the topic anew by bringing to bear the insights from trans- and interdisciplinary research.

Having set a goal of addressing the memorialization of the Holocaust in its multitude of forms and spaces, be it in literature, the media, the visual arts, or in monuments and exhibitions, the section's interests extend to the scholarly discourses of literary and cultural studies, media studies, pedagogy, history, and political science. We also consider in our analyses the potentials and problems of Holocaust rememberance – such as the limits of representability and discussions of memorial construction and museum dedication.

Dissertation projects that cover Jewish culture and history, more generally, also fall within the sphere of our section's work, as the interconnectedness of these topic areas creates a logical basis for productive exchanges.




Meeting times

The next meeting will be announced here or please contact the speakters.


Workshop on the Holocaust and Rememberance in Comic Strips

Comics that address the Holocaust are part of the current zeitgeist, and the subject of noted recent exhibitions: the Spring 2010 exhibit "Heroes, Freaks, and Superrabbis: The Jewish Dimension of Comic Art" in Berlin, and the December 2008-March 2009 exhibit "Superman and Golem" in Frankfurt-Main. Scholarly interest in comics has also clearly increased in recent years. Three new international research journals on comics have been founded since 2008: that was the year the first issue of European Comic Art appeared, followed in 2010 by Studies in Comics and the Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics. The medium of comics has long since been pulled from the subculture into rigorous analysis, all over the world. That said, the status of German comics research has been described by Ole Frahm, the University of Hamburg's professor of graphic literature, as "unspeakable" (from, last accessed 20.09.2010). After grappling with the theme of representing and processing Holocaust experiences within comics, our section can pose an initial question: What can comics, spefically, contribute to thematizing the Holocaust? And how does this differ from what is offered by a film or a book? How do comics communicate historical knowledge of the Holocaust, especially since they have long been regarded as trivial and of marginal importance? What do they contribute to cultural memory? How great is its potential for teaching? How can the visual-verbal characteristics of comics be taught? Be practiced? The specific goal here is to arouse interest in this form of thematizing the Holocaust and, in the process, consider both the characteristics and the function of comics as a medium, and, ultimately, its didactic potential. Since section members currently hale from many different academic disciplines, we'd like to keep this day-long workshop open to all faculties, and to the public.