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Ergebnisanzeige "NeMLA Panel 2013: A Literature of Historical Guilt?"
RessourcentypCall for Papers
TitelNeMLA Panel 2013: A Literature of Historical Guilt?
Beschreibung A Literature of Historical Guilt?

This seminar seeks papers on an emerging form of narrative written in the aftermath of atrocity that is best described as literature of historical guilt. Texts in this tradition ask how to come to terms with historical atrocity committed by one’s ancestors. Focusing on fiction from the United States and Germany, we will explore how these literary texts confront historical responsibility, indictment, guilt, shame, evasion or repression, and instances of moral ambiguity?

The seminar intersects with current debates over the distinction between history and memory, between fact and fiction, and the possibility of representing trauma. We will approach these controversies from a new angle, the perspective of the perpetrators’ descendants. The requirements for the representation of the ineffable, the experience of the Holocaust, the breach in civilization, are specific to those victimized and to their successive generations, who, as Susan Suleiman or Marianne Hirsch have demonstrated, are affected in particular ways and struggle to express and cope with their legacy of suffering. The aesthetic expectations for the literature written by those who perpetrated these crimes and their successive generations differ. The underlying hypothesis of this seminar is that the progeny of the perpetrator generation face a dissimilar situation that calls for an acknowledgment of retroactive involvement more complex than a facile disowning of one’s ancestry and responsibility. Instead, it implies liability not in a legal but in a moral sense and the owning up to a legacy of guilt.The seminar seeks to transcend separate national narratives and to create an awareness of transnational ethical imperatives, acknowledging that, in the words of Charles Maier, “singularity and comparability need not be contradictory.” Focusing on texts about slavery in the US and the Holocaust in Germany, we will analyze the ways in which the perpetrators’ progeny deal with the ancestral committing of or involvement in atrocity, an intergenerational realm that legal institutions cannot regulate and legal language cannot master, and we will examine the following questions: How do the descendants of the perpetrators live with the burden of their culture’s past? How do they cope with the self-inflicted destruction of their cultural heritage and how do they envision recreating community across generations?

Please send 250-500 word abstracts to

Deadline: September 30, 2012

Please include with your abstract:
Name and Affiliation, email address, postal address, telephone number, A/V requirements (if any; $10 handling fee with registration).

44th Annual Convention, Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
March 21-24, 2013
Boston, Massachusetts
Host Institution: Tufts University

The 2013 NeMLA convention continues the Association’s tradition of sharing innovative scholarship in an engaging and generative location. The 44th annual event will be held in historic Boston, Massachusetts, a city known for its national and maritime history, academic facilities and collections, vibrant art, theatre, and food scenes, and blend of architecture. The Convention, located centrally near Boston Commons and the Theatre District at the Hyatt Regency, will include keynote and guest speakers, literary readings, film screenings, tours and workshops. Interested participants may submit abstracts to more than one NeMLA session; however, panelists can only present one paper (panel or seminar). Convention participants may present a paper at a panel and also present at a creative session or participate in a roundtable.
Quelle der BeschreibungInformation des Anbieters
Verknüpfte Ressource
VeranstaltungsortBoston, MA
PersonName: Peter Becker 
Funktion: Lecturer 
KontaktdatenName/Institution: Peter Becker, Harvard University 
Strasse/Postfach: 12 Quincy Street 
Postleitzahl: 02138 
Stadt: Cambridge, MA 
Telefon: 001.617.642.1361 
LandVereinigte Staaten von Amerika
Ediert von  H-Germanistik
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