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>Ways of Reckoning: Historical Tragedy in Twentieth-Century Literature and
>  Film
>
>A proposed panel for the American Comparative Literature Association's
>2003 conference, in San Marcos, CA, near San Diego, invites abstracts for
>20-minute presentations on narratives of historical tragedy in the 20th
>century.  In German literary and cultural studies, the term
>Vergangenheitsbew=E4ltigung designates efforts to understand or reckon
>with a troubled national past or a specific trouble within the past (in
>this terminological context, of course, almost always the Holocaust).
>While the Nazi genocide, like all historical tragedies, has its own host
>of cultural and national specificities, this panel will consider the
>possibility that certain aspects of attempts to come to terms with
>historical tragedy are generalizable, visible in multiple contexts.  How
>have writers, filmmakers, and literary and cultural theorists engaged this
>question?  Is there a palpable effort to locate blame, or should such
>narratives merely ponder immeasurable loss?  Are there affinities between
>twentieth-century avatars of such narratives and accounts of earlier
>traumas?  Will any effort at articulating a general theory of narratives
>of historical tragedy inevitably reduce, perhaps violently, the subjects
>of its study?
>
>Just a few examples: Coetzee or Gordimer; Grass, Mann, Spielberg, Klueger,
>or innumerable others on the Nazi genocide; Irving, O'Brien and Apocalypse
>Now on Vietnam; Ibuse, Duras, Hersey on the atomic bomb; Allende on
>political horrors; theoreticians of ethics, like Levinas, and how and
>whether such theory is suited to historical questions; claims that
>Holocaust memory has been instrumentalized to various ends; Horkheimer,
>Adorno, and Marcuse on the possibilities for post-Nazi aesthetics; and the
>problem of slavery in the works of Morrison, Umar bin Hassan and others are
>all fair game.
>
>Comparative as well as interdisciplinary approaches are especially welcome
>but not required.  Please send abstracts of around 250 words by 20
>September to:
>
>Geoffrey Baker
>Dept. of Comparative Literature
>Rutgers University
>131 George Street
>New Brunswick, NJ  08901-1414
>USA
>
>or via e-mail (either as attachment or in body of mail) at
>  [log in to unmask]
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>Wer Million=E4ren nichts nimmt, kann Millionen nichts geben.
>(Who takes nothing from the millionaires can give nothing to the millions.)