Can we remember other people's memories? The Generation of Postmemory argues we can: that memories of traumatic events live on to mark the lives of those who were not there to experience them. Children of survivors and their contemporaries inherit catastrophic histories not through direct recollection but through haunting postmemories multiply mediated images, objects, stories, behaviors, and affects passed down within the family and the culture at large. In these new and revised critical readings of the literary and visual legacies of the Holocaust and other, related sites of memory, Marianne Hirsch builds on her influential concept of postmemory. The book's chapters, two of which were written collaboratively with the historian Leo Spitzer, engage the work of postgeneration artists and writers such as Art Spiegelman, W.G. Sebald, Eva Hoffman, Tatana Kellner, Muriel Hasbun, Anne Karpff, Lily Brett, Lorie Novak, David Levinthal, Nancy Spero and Susan Meiselas. Grappling with the ethics of empathy and identification, these artists attempt to forge a creative postmemorial aesthetic that reanimates the past without appropriating it. In her analyses of their fractured texts, Hirsch locates the roots of the familial and affiliative practices of postmemory in feminism and other movements for social change. Using feminist critical strategies to connect past and present, words and images, and memory and gender, she brings the entangled strands of disparate traumatic histories into more intimate contact. With more than fifty illustrations, her text enables a multifaceted encounter with foundational and cutting edge theories in memory, trauma, gender, and visual culture, eliciting a new understanding of history and our place in it.
This volume explores the different mechanisms and forms of expression used by women to come to terms with the past, focusing on the variety and complexity of women’s narratives of displacement within the context of Central and Eastern Europe. The first part addresses the quest for personal (post)memory from the perspective of the second and third generations. The touching collaboration established in reconstructing individual and family (post)memories offers invaluable insights into the effects of displacement, coping mechanisms, and resilience. Adopting the idea that the text itself becomes a site of (post)memory, the second part of the volume brings into discussion different sites and develops further this topic in relation to the creative process and visual text. The last part questions the past in relation to trauma and identity displacement in the countries where abusive regimes destroyed social bonds and had a lasting impact on the people lives.
This book examines the life and art of those contemporary artists who by force or by choice find themselves on other shores. It argues that the exilic challenge enables the émigré artist to (re)establish new artistic devices, new laws and a new language of communication in both his everyday life and his artistic work.
Collected Essays on Literary and Visual Conjunctures
Author: Ofra Amihay
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
The question of the relation between the visual and the textual in literature is at the heart of an increasing number of scholarly projects, and in turn, the investigation of evolving visual-verbal dynamics is becoming an independent discipline. This volume explores these profound literary shifts through the work of twelve talented, and in some cases, emerging scholars who study text and image relations in diverse forms and contexts. The inter-medial conjunctures investigated in this book play with and against the traditional roles of the visual and the verbal. The Future of Text and Image presents explorations of the incorporation of visual elements into works of literature, of visual writing modes, and of the textuality and literariness of images. It focuses on the special potential literature offers for the combination of these two functions. Alongside examinations of major forms and genres such as memoirs, novels, and poetry, this volume expands the discussion of text and image relations into more marginal forms, for instance, collage books, the PostSecret collections of anonymous postcards, and digital poetry. In other words, while exploring the destiny of text and image as an independent discipline, this volume simultaneously looks at the very literal future of text and image forms in an ever-changing technological reality. The essays in this book will help to define the emergent practices and politics of this growing field of study, and at the same time, reflect the tremendous significance of the visual in today’s image culture.
This volume collects work by several European, North American, and Australian academics who are interested in examining the performance and transmission of post-traumatic memory in the contemporary United States. The contributors depart from the interpretation of trauma as a unique exceptional event that shatters all systems of representation, as seen in the writing of early trauma theorists like Cathy Caruth, Shoshana Felman, and Dominick LaCapra. Rather, the chapters in this collection are in conversation with more recent readings of trauma such as Michael Rothberg’s “multidirectional memory” (2009), the role of mediation and remediation in the dynamics of cultural memory (Astrid Erll, 2012; Aleida Assman, 2011), and Stef Craps’ focus on “postcolonial witnessing” and its cross-cultural dimension (2013). The corpus of post-traumatic narratives under discussion includes fiction, diaries, memoirs, films, visual narratives, and oral testimonies. A complicated dialogue between various and sometimes conflicting narratives is thus generated and examined along four main lines in this volume: trauma in the context of “multidirectional memory”; the representation of trauma in autobiographical texts; the dynamic of public forms of national commemoration; and the problematic instantiation of 9/11 as a traumatic landmark.
The first decade of the twenty-first century witnessed a passionate engagement with the losses of the past. Rites of Return examines the effects of this legacy of historical injustice and documented suffering on the politics of the present. Twenty-four writers, historians, literary and cultural critics, anthropologists and sociologists, visual artists, legal scholars, and curators grapple with our contemporary ethical endeavor to redress enduring inequities and retrieve lost histories. Mapping bold and broad-based responses to past injury across Eastern Europe, Africa, Latin America, Australia, the Middle East, and the United States, Rites of Return examines new technologies of genetic and genealogical research, memoirs about lost family histories, the popularity of roots-seeking journeys, organized trauma tourism at sites of atrocity and new Museums of Conscience, and profound connections between social rites and political and legal rights of return. Contributors include: Lila Abu-Lughod, Columbia University; Nadia Abu El-Haj, Barnard College; Elazar Barkan, Columbia University; Svetlana Boym, Harvard University; Saidiya Hartman, Columbia University; Amira Hass, journalist; Jarrod Hayes, University of Michigan; Marianne Hirsch, Columbia University; Eva Hoffman, writer; Margaret Homans, Yale University; Rosanne Kennedy, Australian National University; Daniel Mendelsohn, writer; Susan Meiselas, photographer; Nancy K. Miller, CUNY Graduate Center; Alondra Nelson, Columbia University; Jay Prosser, University of Leeds; Liz Sevchenko, Coalition of Museums of Conscience; Leo Spitzer, Dartmouth College; Marita Sturken New York University; Diana Taylor, New York University; Patricia J. Williams, Columbia University
How do the spaces of the past stay with us through representations—whether literary or photographic? How has the Holocaust registered in our increasingly globally connected consciousness? What does it mean that this European event is often used as an interpretive or representational touchstone for genocides and traumas globally? In this interdisciplinary study, Kaplan asks and attempts to answer these questions by looking at historically and geographically diverse spaces, photographs, and texts concerned with the physical and/or mental landscape of the Holocaust and its transformations from the postwar period to the early twenty-first century. Examining the intersections of landscape, postmemory, and trauma, Kaplan's text offers a significant contribution to our understanding of the spatial, visual, and literary reach of the Holocaust.
Longing for the Bomb traces the unusual story of the first atomic city and the emergence of American nuclear culture. Tucked into the folds of Appalachia and kept off all commercial maps, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, was created for the Manhattan Project by the U.S. government in the 1940s. Its workers labored at a breakneck pace, most aware only that their jobs were helping "the war effort." The city has experienced the entire lifespan of the Atomic Age, from the fevered wartime enrichment of the uranium that fueled Little Boy, through a brief period of atomic utopianism after World War II when it began to brand itself as "The Atomic City," to the anxieties of the Cold War, to the contradictory contemporary period of nuclear unease and atomic nostalgia. Oak Ridge's story deepens our understanding of the complex relationship between America and its bombs. Blending historiography and ethnography, Lindsey Freeman shows how a once-secret city is visibly caught in an uncertain present, no longer what it was historically yet still clinging to the hope of a nuclear future. It is a place where history, memory, and myth compete and conspire to tell the story of America's atomic past and to explain the nuclear present.