The Holocaust in Contemporary Popular Culture

deadline for submissions: 
February 28, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Christine Berberich / University of Portsmouth, UK

Special Issue for Genealogy


Almost 80 years on from the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps, the Holocaust has become part of a common cultural narrative: history books set out the facts of the Shoah; a new genre has developed in literature – starting with survivor accounts and slowly moving into Holocaust fiction; there is Holocaust film; there are art works creatively engaging with the Holocaust. Added to that is the academic debate, where, over decades, critics have argued and set out just how the Holocaust should be commemorated. In more recent years, however, new forms of Holocaust representation have appeared that might seem irreverent to some, or trailblazing to others: graphic novels on the Holocaust, for instance; Holocaust comedies; representations of the Sonderkommando in Computer Games; images of Auschwitz in Marvel films; allegedly ‘lower’ literary genres, for instance crime writing, dealing with the crimes of the Nazi past. These new forms of representation and, ultimately, commemoration, openly engage with the debate of Holocaust piety versus Holocaust impiety, as set out by critics such as Gillian Rose and Matthew Boswell.

Please consider contributing to this special issue on ‘The Holocaust in Contemporary Popular Fiction’. Much has been written, in recent years, on new and different trends in Holocaust representation and commemoration. This special issue would like to closely examine reprsentations of the Holocaust and the Nazi pasts in contemporary POPULAR culture – in film, popular literature, graphic novels, computer games etc. It wants to address the various ethics of representation as Holocaust representation is slowly changing; it wants to discuss opinions both for and against overtly popular forms of Holocaust commemoration: are there ethical thresholds that have but shouldn’t be crossed? What is acceptable / unacceptable in Holocaust commemoration?

With its focus solely on POPULAR cultural production, this Special Issue aims to contribute to ongoing debates about what is and what shouldn’t be permissible in Holocaust representation.

Please submit a 200–300 word abstract by the end of Feb 2019 to the special issue editor Christine Berberich at A notification of acceptance will be sent on March 22, and full manuscripts are due by 1 September 2019.

Dr. Christine Berberich
Guest Editor


Please see the journal's website for more information: