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>From: "Philippe Codde" <[log in to unmask]>
>
>Subject: UPDATE: Postwar Jewish Literatures 
>(Belgium) (2/20/06; 11/6/06-11/7/06)
>
>*Response, Remembrance, Representation:
>A Dialogue between Postwar Jewish Literatures*
>Universities of Antwerp and Ghent, 6-7 November 2006
>
>*Extended deadline for submission: 20 February 2006.
>Speakers: Emily Budick, Michael F Bernard-Donals, Bridget Kevane,
>Phyllis Lassner, Cheryl Malcolm, Thomas Nolden, Ranen Omer-Sherman,
>Derek Rubin, Sue Vice, and others.*
>
>Papers are invited for a two-day comparative literature conference on
>postwar Jewish writing in North America and Western Europe.
>
>Perhaps more than any other ethnic or religious group in the US, Jewish
>authors have shaped the face of 20th century American literature. The
>rich tradition of Jewish American writing ranges from the more
>peripheral immigrant novels written by Abraham Cahan, Mary Antin, Anzia
>Yezierska, and Henry Roth to the postwar novels by Saul Bellow, Bernard
>Malamud, and Philip Roth which catapulted Jewish writing into the center
>of the American literary system. By the late 1970s, however, Irving Howe
>famously predicted the demise of the Jewish American novel due to a
>depletion of the cultural material and the memories from which it
>originally sprang. While the recent deaths of Arthur Miller and Saul
>Bellow have indeed ended an era, new generations of gifted and promising
>Jewish novelists are clearly proving Howe wrong. The thematic diversity
>in the work of writers such as Jonathan Safran Foer, Nicole Krauss,
>Pearl Abraham, Michael Chabon, David Mamet, Art Spiegelman, Allegra
>Goodman, Thane Rosenbaum, Melvin Jules Bukiet, and many others, makes
>these authors perhaps less easily identifiable as a literary group, but
>it does suggest that the Jewish novel in America is not likely to suffer
>from anemia anytime in the near future.
>
>Similarly, and more surprisingly, the revitalization of Jewish culture
>in Europe is one of its more remarkable cultural developments in recent
>years. In the first years after the end of World War II, no one could
>foresee that European Jewry would recover so rapidly and vigorously from
>the trauma and the losses caused by the Shoah. And yet, just a quarter
>century later, Jewish culture in countries such as France, Germany,
>Austria, Italy, England, Hungary, and even Poland began to prosper
>again. Since 1980, an ever-growing number of Jewish writers have been
>contributing to the reemergence of an extremely lively and heterogeneous
>Jewish literary culture in the New Europe. This literature captures the
>main challenges confronting the post-Shoah generations of Europe: the
>desire to commemorate the lives of those who were killed in the camps;
>the need to address the ruptures in Jewish life and culture; and the
>determination to face the attractions and limitations of reclaiming a
>Jewish identity impervious to assimilation and to threats of
>anti-Semitism. European contributors to Jewish writing include, for
>example, Jessica Durlacher, Arnon Grunberg, Marcel MĖring, Robert
>Schindel, Doron Rabinovici, Robert Menasse, Henry Raczymow, Patrick
>Modiano, Myrian Anissimov, Jonathan Wilson, Julia Pascal, William
>Sutcliffe, Clara Sereni, and Angela Bianchini.
>
>The present conference seeks to initiate a transcontinental dialogue
>between these Western European and North American Jewish literatures. We
>invite contributions to any of the four following sessions on Jewish
>literature after the Second World War:
>
>1. Literature, Language, and Memory
>
>Memory has always been an essential part in the construction of Jewish
>identity. Which historical events are remembered / commemorated in
>Jewish literature and how are they represented linguistically? Which
>genres ([graphic] novels, plays, poetry, [fake] memoirs, ÷) or modes of
>writing (realist, postmodernist, ÷) are used for this representation? Do
>Jewish literatures arising within different political, social, cultural
>contexts deal differently with the Shoah? What are the assets or dangers
>/ liabilities of literary representation when compared to
>historiography? To what extent is Jewish literature an act of testimony
>and witnessing? What, if any, is the relation between literary
>remembrance and Jewish identity? What is the position of Jewish
>literature from a specific country in the context of that countryŪs
>established literary canon? Is it central or is it produced in the
>margins of the literary environment?
>
>2. Gender and Sexuality
>
>To what extent are alternative social and sexual identities thematized
>in postwar Jewish literature? How are women authors positioning
>themselves towards a rather phallocentric Jewish tradition in the wake
>of feminism? How has the emergence of so many Jewish women writers
>changed the nature of Jewish literature? Has menŪs writing changed too
>from the age of bellowmalamudroth? Are there elements suggesting that a
>žqueeringÓ of Jewish literature has taken place?
>
>3. Religion and Ethics
>
>Religion has traditionally played a considerable role in Jewish writing.
>Is this still the case today or do authors seek alternative sources for
>ethics and morality? In other words, is Judaism still an issue in these
>contemporary literatures or is Jewishness largely redefined in secular
>terms? If so, which philosophers or philosophical systems are/have been
>influential for postwar Jewish literature? In how far does a
>specifically Jewish ethics appear in the different Jewish literatures
>today? Are there signs of a fairly recent religious revival in Jewish
>literature? How do writers present religious and ethnic elements in
>their fiction? For example, do they address themselves to the reader and
>provide explanations for the outsider, or do they consider the reader to
>be familiar with things Jewish?
>
>4. Representations of Israel, Zionism, and Anti-Semitism
>
>What are the North American and Western European literary responses to
>Israel and Zionism? Does contemporary Jewish literature present the
>tensions between a Zionist and a Diasporic position? Is Israel in any
>way related to Jewish identity in literary representations? Is
>anti-Semitism still (or again) a significant thematic issue in Jewish
>literature? Is anti-Semitism in European Jewish literatures represented
>differently than it is in Jewish American literature? Is there a
>discourse about the notions of home, homelessness and exile in
>contemporary Jewish literature? Is there an opposition between the
>Jewish minority and the majority of the host country, or are the
>concepts of minority/majority and insider/outsider questioned?
>
>*We particularly encourage contributions that either address a broad
>section of one national literature, or approaches to Jewish writing that
>are already comparative and transnational in nature. Papers dealing with
>only one work or author are discouraged.*
>
>Please e-mail a brief CV and an abstract of no more than 250 words to
>[log in to unmask] or [log in to unmask]
>
>For potential participants who do not wish or are unable to submit a
>traditional paper, we offer the opportunity to present a poster during
>the conference. With this initiative, we would especially like to
>encourage young scholars or graduate students to present their (current
>or future) research in this way. It will give them a unique opportunity
>to gather valuable feedback and constructive comments from authorities
>from various fields within the domain of Jewish literature.
>The posters will be presented on the second conference day during lunch
>and coffee breaks. After the last traditional paper there will be an
>additional, informal one-hour session, in which participants who present
>a poster can be asked to elaborate on their specific topic.
>
>Participants are asked to bring their own poster. Posters should be A0
>size: Width: 84.1cm or 33.11"
>Height: 118.9cm or 46.81". Information that certainly should be
>mentioned on the poster: name, status, institution, title of research,
>email, phone- and fax number, summary and outline of the project/research÷
>For more information on the poster session, please contact:
>[log in to unmask]
>
>The organizing committee,
>Gert Buelens
>Philippe Codde
>Bart Keunen
>Bart Lievens
>Vivian Liska
>Kristiaan Versluys
>
>--
>Dr. Philippe Codde
>Ghent University
>Comparative Literature (LW10)
>Rozier 44
>B-9000 Ghent
>Belgium
>
>

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