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GERMAN-CFP-L  November 2002

GERMAN-CFP-L November 2002

Subject:

CFP: Critical Holocaust Anthology (1/20/03; collection)

From:

Stefani Engelstein <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

German Studies CFP Forum <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 13 Nov 2002 09:18:59 -0600

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (116 lines)

>
>
>  > CALL FOR PAPERS
>>  State-constructed memory and meaning obstruct the confrontation of racism
>>  as genocide.  Calls to consciousness, relying on mystified and Eurocentric
>>  constructions of humanity and suffering, are conditioned by the surrealism
>>  and hypocrisy of regret.  With the loss of European life as the only common
>>  and binding referent for such atrocities, no conventional language can
>>  denounce the genocide of Native and African Americans as meaningful or
>>  morally and politically tragic.  Problematizing resistance through this
>>  language, Native, African, and European American writers use German Nazism
>>  as the recognized referent for the terms holocaust and fascism to make U.S.
>>  genocidal practices meaningful.
>>  Joy James
>>
>>  Today, the language of the holocaust cannot be understood apart from the
>>  Jewish experience.  Historically, this argument is suspect, if not
>>  inadequate.  The intent of this proposed anthology is to understand why
>>  this national investment is made and to what extent these terms impact
>>  debates concerning genocide beyond the Jewish community. In rallies,
>>  demonstrations, museums, movies, and political debates across the United
>>  States and, throughout the world, remembrance of the Jewish Holocaust is
>>  mobilized in causes ranging from international genocide tribunals to the
>>  defense of Israel.  In newspapers, articles appear daily on the legacies of
>>  the Holocaust, the continued struggle for reparations, and the eternal need
>>  to "make sure it never happens again."
>>
>>  Within this context of hyper-visibility, if not obsession within the United
>>  States, even beyond the Jewish community's, a number of scholars have
>>  recently challenged the usefulness of such a hyper-focus on the Jewish
>>  Holocaust, which some have described as a "Holocaust Industry."  This
>>  project continues this critical interrogation by moving toward an
>>  understanding of how the "Holocaust Industry" plays out in those
>>  communities, discourses and debates within the United States that are not
>>  exclusively the domain of Jewish or Holocaust Studies as they are
>>  traditionally defined.  In taking this step, this anthology attempts to
>>  decenter the Jewish Holocaust from the ubiquitous discussions of genocide,
>>  reparations and U.S.-Israel relations.  Our exploration of the arbitrary
>>  centering of the Shoah within a number of other discourses, in terms of
>>  addressing its presence and affects on the reparations debates, history of
>>  genocide, U.S. foreign policy and a number other sites  represents a step
>  > toward its rightful displacement from these spaces.  The Jewish Holocaust,
>  > citing its supposed uniqueness, cannot continuously be used as the
>  > yardstick or point of reference for all incidents of genocide and
>>  xenophobia.  This project urges a critical interrogation by moving toward
>>  an understanding of how a "Holocaust Industry" influences national and
>>  international communities, discourses and debates.  We therefore attempts
>>  to displace the "Holocaust Industry" from these discourses while centering
>>  the specifically national, and more generally genocidal histories which the
>>  Jewish Holocaust's current hyper-visibility inherently stifles our
>>  understanding of.
>>
>>  In recent years, a number of scholars have challenged the hegemonic
>>  position of the Shoah within American life.  Peter Novick in The Holocaust
>>  in American Life goes so far as to suggest the over-emphasis is largely
>>  ahistorical: ". . . the available evidence doesn't suggest that overall,
>>  American Jews (let alone American gentiles) were traumatized by the
>>  Holocaust . . ."  Although the Shoah is not specifically part of the United
>>  States' historiography, the Jewish Holocaust is continuously reinscribed as
>>  part of American history.  The establishment of the United States Holocaust
>>  Memorial Museum, on the National Mall no less, reflects this
>>  obsession.  There are additional examples revealing the cultural centrality
>  > of the industry, ranging from shelves of books and movies, to
>>  state-sponsored holidays. Every state in the United States sponsors annual
>>  Jewish Holocaust Remembrance Days, many of which are held in the chambers
>>  of state legislatures.  Furthermore, the United States boasts over one
>>  hundred Jewish Holocaust institutions, including seven museums.  The US
>>  thus enacts its obsession with the Shoah in a myriad of ways.  The central
>>  question of this anthology is: what is the impact of this fixation and the
>>  accompanying "Holocaust Industry" on "minority" discourses as well as those
>>  related social, political, economic and psychological spaces?
>>
>>  ORGANIZATION
>>  The bulk of the existing critical literature, most importantly the work of
>>  Peter Novick, Christopher Browning, Yehuda Bauer and Norman Finkelstein to
>>  name only a few, that examines the construction of the Jewish Holocaust
>>  have either ignored the ways in which the "Holocaust Industry" impacts
>>  discussions unrelated to the historical event of the Shoah, or reify the
>>  centrality and exceptional nature of the Jewish historical
>>  experience.  Focusing on its affects within the Jewish community and
>>  subsequent Jewish identity development, the literature has merely hinted
>>  at, if not obfuscated, the significance of the Shoah in American
>>  life.  This project solicits papers that will further open this door to
>>  fully explore the ways in which the Jewish Holocaust plays out in a number
>>  of spaces.  We request papers that address, but are not limited to, the
>>  following topics:
>>      * Reparations/restitution
>>      * Genocide/Slavery in the Americas
>>      * U.S. policy toward Israel/Palestinian Authority
>>      * US foreign relations
>>      * Minority/Jewish relations
>>      * Genocide Studies
>>      * Critical Holocaust/Jewish Studies and Anti-Semitism
>>      * Whiteness and Jewish/Holocaust Studies
>>  This project will bring together a number of scholars, both the established
>>  and the aspiring, to study the meaning of genocidal violence in the
>>  histories of the Americas when filtered through a European
>>  event.  Additionally, the work will comment on the need to study genocide
>>  in a context that centers communities of color and the genocidal contours
>>  specific to racial projects predating the Shoah by centuries.  Such a
>>  direction will not only permit a more detailed exploration of the cultural
>>  power of the "Holocaust Industry," and its construction, manipulation,
>>  dissemination and reception, but more importantly will explore the ways and
>>  sites in which a Shoah discourse impacts and affects social policy,
>>  community relations, historical understanding and identity formation in
>>  areas of study generally seen as unrelated to Holocaust Studies. As an
>>  anthology this project will provide a forum for experts in a variety of
>>  fields to comment on the effects and articulations within these other
>>  discussions/discourses.
>>
>>  Your 500-word abstract/proposal and a brief CV must be received by January
>>  20th. Please send all correspondences to [log in to unmask] or David Leonard,
>>  Washington State University, Wilson 111, PO Box 644010, Pullman, WA
>>  99164-4010 and/or [log in to unmask] or Robert Soza, UC Berkeley,
>  > 506 Barrows Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720-2570.
>>

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