Monday, 17 September 2012



A one-day postgraduate workshop at Culture Lab, Newcastle University, 10 January 2013

Keynote speaker: Professor Maxim Silverman
Traditionally, the fields of postcolonial, cultural, and memory studies have tended to regard the discourses of the Holocaust and the Algerian War of decolonisation (1954-1962) as separated by an invisible ‘colour line’- propagating a notion of collective memory as competitive and Nazi genocide as a paradigmatic, sui generis (singular) event which ‘differs from every case said to compare to it’ (Steven Katz). On the other hand, a comparatively nuanced approach to collective memory and discourse has recently emerged through the work of Michel Rothberg (2009), whose close analysis of cultural artefacts as sites of palimpsestic, ‘multidirectional memory’ has had profound ramifications for the fields of Holocaust and postcolonial studies. Applying Rothberg’s theories exclusively  to the discourse of cinema, this postgraduate workshop will thus discuss the extent to which filmic representations of the Holocaust can be said to parallel (and diverge from) representations of France’s colonial legacy, through a structured, comparative exploration of cinematic themes and visual tropes (see below). This one-day event will ultimately involve the aim of re-inscribing both discourses within a dialogical space of intercultural convergence as opposed to inassimilable difference and alterity.
Twenty minute papers may address any style of filmmaking including; classical/hegemonic Hollywood cinema, American ‘Jewish Revenge cinema,’ Israeli Second Generation Cinema, East/West German cinema, the French New Wave, Left Bank, cinéma vérité, Algerian cinéma moudjahid (freedom-fighter cinema) and Third/Fourth Cinema (although this list is far from exhaustive). Participants are encouraged to focus upon either representations of the Holocaust or the Algerian War, whilst possible papers could focus upon the themes of;
·       Gender and atrocity
·       Concentrationary spaces
·       ‘Screen memories’
·       Torture
·       Trauma
·       The concept of truth (la vérité)
·       The notion of home/homeland/Heimat
·       Nostalgia
·       The figure of the child
·       The figure of the ‘resistant’
·       The figure of the ‘survivor’
·       Fragmentations of identity
·       Testimonial narratives
·       Concepts of arriving and returning
·       Repression- ‘Vichy/Algeria Syndrome’
Please send abstracts of 250 words to either Mani Sharpe or Gary Jenkins by the 31st of October 2012

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