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Events

Fellowship at STIAS for “School Photos and their Afterlives: Assimilation, Exclusion, Resistance” Project
May/June 2014, Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study, South Africa

2014 Samuel and Althea Stroum Lectures in Jewish Studies: “School Photos and Their Afterlives: A Comparative Jewish Perspective”
Lecture 1: “School Photos in the Era of Assimilation: Jews, Indians, and Blacks”
31 March 2014, 7:30 p.m., Kane Hall Room 220, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Lecture 2: “Framing Children: The Holocaust and After”
2 April 2014, 7:30 p.m., Kane Hall Room 220, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Photographs of school classes appear very early in the history of photography and are pervasive in individual and family albums throughout the world. This year’s Stroum Lectures examine the historical, memorial, and aesthetic dimensions of school photographs from a comparative Jewish perspective. The lectures explore photography’s ideological role from the 19th century through World War II, a span of decades wherein the political climate for Jews shifted from emancipation and integration to exclusion, persecution, and genocide. Reflecting on the afterlives of these images in memorial and artistic installations, the talks also suggest that school photographs can represent the possibility of resistance and subversion—even during the most challenging time in the Jewish people’s history. The first lecture, focusing on class images from the 19th and early 20th century, examines practices of assimilation that are revealed in photographs from educational establishments intended for the “civilization” of indigenous and African American children in North America and from schools attended by Jewish children in Habsburg-ruled Central Europe. The second lecture looks at the process of exclusion of Jews in 20th-century Central Europe by way of school pictures taken in the 1920′s and ’30s, as well as in sanctioned and clandestine schools – some, in ghettos and camps – in the years of the Holocaust.

This year’s Stroum Lecturers are Dr. Marianne Hirsch, Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, and Dr. Leo Spitzer, the Kathe Tappe Vernon Professor of History at Dartmouth College. Among numerous publications on the Holocaust and Jewish culture, they have co-authored Ghosts of Home: The Afterlife of Czernowitz in Jewish Memory (University of California Press, 2010).

“School Pictures in Liquid Time: Assimilation, Exclusion, Resistance”
24 February 2014, 4:00 – 6:00p.m., Room 133, Barker Center, Harvard University

Photographs of school classes appear very early in the history of photography, in American Indian Boarding schools; and they are pervasive in individual and family albums throughout the world. Despite their ubiquity as potent media for recall and memorialization, class photos have received little critical attention. This talk examines the ideological deployment as well as the historical, memorial, and aesthetic dimensions of class photographs as a vernacular genre. Reflecting specifically on the exclusion of Jews in 20th century Central Europe, it looks at school pictures taken in the 1920s and 30s, as well as during the years of the Holocaust in sanctioned and clandestine schools (some in ghettos and camps). It analyzes both historical images and critical re-framings by contemporary artists who expose photography’s ideological role within political climates that shifted from emancipation and integration to exclusion, persecution and genocide.

Sponsored by: Seminar on Politics, Literature and the Arts, Mahindra Humanities Center

Keynote Lecture, International Conference on “Competing Memories”
30 October 2013, University of Amsterdam & VU University Amsterdam

“School Pictures in Liquid Time Assimilation, Exclusion, Resistance”
17 October 2013, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Photographs of school classes appear very early in the history of photography and are pervasive in individual and family albums throughout the world. Despite their ubiquity as potent media for recall and memorialization, class photos have received little critical attention. This talk examines the ideological deployment as well as the historical, memorial, and aesthetic dimensions of class photographs as a vernacular genre. Reflecting specifically at the process of exclusion of Jews in 20th century Central Europe, it looks at school pictures taken in the 1920’s and 30s, as well as in sanctioned and clandestine schools – some, in ghettos and camps – in the years of the Holocaust. It analyzes both historical images and critical re-framings by contemporary artists who expose photography’s ideological role within political climates that shifted from emancipation and integration to exclusion, persecution and genocide.

“Doing Memory” Conference
13-15 June 2013, Vienna School of Fine Arts

The art-research conference “Doing Memory” examines artistic practices in the context of the politics of memory and visual research, primarily in Austria and Israel.

Lecture: “Die Zukunft der Vergangenheit: Bilder und Worte aus Transnistrien”
12 June 2013, University of Vienna

“Small Acts of Repair: The Unclaimed Legacy of the Romanian Holocaust”
25 April 2013, University of Southern California Shoah Foundation

Marianne Hirsch will discuss “postmemory”, a term that describes the relationship that the ‘generation after’ bears to the personal, collective, and cultural trauma of those who came before – to experiences they ‘remember’ only by means of the stories, images, and behaviors among which they grew up.

RSVP online for this event. For more information, please visit http://sfi.usc.edu/events/4555

“Creation and Postmemory Conference”
10-12 April 2013, Maison Francaise, Columbia University

In connection with this conference, there will be an art exhibit April 10-May 4: Cambodia, The Memory Workshop: Artworks by Vann Nath, Séra, and Emerging Cambodian Artists. Official exhibit opening April 10, 6-8 p.m. Registration required, please click here.

Conference opens on April 10th at 2:30 p.m. with keynote by Marianne Hirsch (Columbia University) and Leo Spitzer (Dartmouth College): Small Acts of Repair: The Unclaimed Legacy of Transnistria

The aftermath of mass murders is felt not only by the victims and their families but also by their descendants, who find themselves in the paradoxical situation of suffering the psychological effects of events they did not experience themselves.

It is this transmission of trauma that the notion of postmemory – developed in 1997 by Marianne Hirsch in her book Family Frames: Photography Narra­tive and Postmemory, and more recently in her 2012 book The Generation of Postmemory — attempts to describe. Hirsch demonstrates how an indirect form of memory may develop in individuals who did not experience a traumatic event personally but feel its active presence within their family.

Since postmemory is unable to draw on precise recollections, great importance is given to imagination and creation. Art has a major part to play in this process, since in some cases it is only through the works created by survivors that subsequent generations can access the traumatic event. Art also constitutes an ideal means for later generations to attempt to imagine an unknown past and discover its implications in their lives.

The conference and art exhibit are part of the city-wide Season of Cambodia Festival. The events at the Maison Francaise aim to examine how the arts and other creative forms harness indirect memory and ensure its transmission through a variety of archives and traces. Although the Cambodian genocide will be the primary focus, other genocides of the 20th century, such as the Holocaust and the Armenian and Rwandan genocides, will be discussed in a comparative perspective.

For conference program and more information, please visit Season of Cambodia Festival: Creation and Postmemory or http://seasonofcambodia.org/event/art-healing-and-transformation/


“Practices of Memory Conference”
1 March 2013, Fordham University

For more information, please visit http://www.fordham.edu/practices_of_memory

“Generation of Postmemory” Discussion and Celebration
11 February 2013, 7-9pm, Hemispheric Institute for Performance and Politics, NYU (20 Cooper Square, 5th floor. Please note: Photo ID is required to enter NYU buildings)

Join us for a book discussion and celebration on “The Generation of Postmemory: Writing and Visual Culture After the Holocaust (Columbia University Press, 2012), Roundtable with Marianne Hirsch, Andreas Huyssen, Kellie Jones, Leo Spitzer and Marita Sturken, Moderated by Diana Taylor

“Memory Unbound” Lecture Series
13 December 2012, Ghent, Belgium

For more information, please visit http://www.litra.ugent.be/events.html#memory_unbound

Residency at Liguria Study Center
15 October 2012 – 17 November 2012, Bogliasco, Italy

For more information, please visit http://www.bfny.org/

“Recollection, Retribution, Reconciliation: A Roundtable Discussion”
4 October 2012, 8:00pm, Levis Faculty Center, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana

Featuring Karen Engle (U of Texas), Judith Halberstam (USC), Marianne Hirsch (Columbia U), and Michael Rothberg (Illinois). Moderated by Brett Kaplan (Illinois)
For more information, please visit http://www.jewishculture.illinois.edu/events/lectures/

“Framing Lives”: 8th Biennial International Auto/Biography Association (IABA) Conference
17-20 July 2012, Canberra, Australia

For more information, please visit http://www.theiaba.org/?page_id=187

East European Memory Studies Research Group Seminar
Wed 9 May 2012, 5:00pm CRASSH, University of Cambridge

Marianne Hirsch and Leo Spitzer (Columbia University)
‘Small Acts of Repair:’
The Unclaimed Legacy of Transnistria’
For more information, please visit http://www.memoryatwar.org/events