CFP: Postmemorable Relationships (3/1/06; MLA '06)

full name / name of organization: 
Julia K. Baker
contact email: 

CFP: MLA 2006 Special Session: Postmemorable Relationships

This special session will explore the effects of Holocaust memories on
relationships as depicted in works of (auto)fiction by Jewish authors from
different national backgrounds. Based on Marianne Hirsch's concept of
postmemory, which is defined as "the experience of those who grow up
dominated by narratives that preceded their birth" (Hirsch, 1997: 22), this
session asks in what ways postmemory affects relationships not only between
family members but also relationships outside of the family circle. It
investigates to what extent such literature breaks taboos, e.g. by
thematizing love-stories between Jews and non-Jews or by judging the parents
' or grandparents' actions and choices during the time of the Holocaust.
Overall, this session explores how such literature shapes our understanding
of the Holocaust today.

Papers may explore but are not restricted to the following topics and

* Holocaust life-writing/autofiction/fiction
* Holocaust and Exile
* Children and the Holocaust
* Questions of Jewish Identity
* Theories of Family
* Judgment of Parents & Generational Conflicts
* Memory and Postmemory
* Love Stories
* Breaking Taboos in literary texts

Possible questions include:

* In what ways do parents' memories estrange and even destroy families and
* How do later generations define themselves through their parents' memories
and/or in what ways do they construct identities that separate them from
their origins?
* Do texts posit ways that postmemory can be ignored or escaped?
* How are relationships portrayed between Jews and Germans?

Please submit a 250-300 word abstract, a brief professional biography, and
relevant contact information by March 1st, 2006.
Submit via email attachment with email subject line MLA 2006 to Julia K.
Baker at <> and a copy to Aine
Zimmerman at
While electronic submissions are preferred, you may also submit by post to:

Julia K. Baker and Aine Zimmerman
Department of German Studies
733 Old Chemistry Building

ML 0372

Cincinnati, OH 45221-0372

Phone: (513) 556-2752

Fax: (513) 556-1991

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Received on Tue Jan 10 2006 - 09:32:53 EST