PAMLA Session: Jewish Literature and Culture

deadline for submissions: 
April 15, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Jana Schmidt/PAMLA
contact email: 

You are invited to submit a paper to the "Jewish Literature and Culture" Session at the Annual Conference of the Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association (PAMLA) to be held 11-14 November 2021 in Las Vegas.  Jewish Literature and Culture: The Call of Memory Contemporary Jewish writers and thinkers have frequently reacted to the emergence of the Holocaust as a cultural and human rights paradigm by refracting memory toward forgotten genocides, repressed histories, and overlooked parallels with colonial and imperialist projects. The formation of comparative, multidirectional, and “concentrationary” memory studies owes much to writers like Edgar Hildenrath, Imre Kertész, Ruth Klüger, Jorge Semprún, or Patrick Modiano. This panel seeks to consider contemporary Jewish literature in light of its political function(s):  * How have Jewish writers positioned themselves, their Jewishness, and literature vis-a-vis discourses of nationhood and identity, genocidal and postcolonial memory and the primacy of "the worst"?* In what ways have they sought to undermine dominant historical narratives?* How has Jewish literature been perceived as both in- and outside the respective national cultures, as exceptional within and divergent from the discourses of patriotism, Kultur, and laïcité?* How have other, for instance, decolonial thinkers invoked the concept of diaspora to affirm solidarity, redirect public attention, or to complicate the notion of a "postcolonial Holocaust”?* What sorts of representational possibilities are realized in recent attempts to render migrant suffering visible through the specter of European antisemitism and the Holocaust? * How have Holocaust theorists such as Jean-François Lyotard, Shoshana Felman, Georges Didi-Huberman, and Jean-Luc Nancy taken up literary models of memory? What kind of relationship between theory and art emerges from studying these connections? And how do we describe this relation in individual works by theorist-writers like Imre Kertész or Ruth Klüger? Aside from these suggestions, we welcome papers on any aspect of the politics of Jewish literature.  To ask questions about this panel please contact: Jana Schmidt, Associate Fellow at the Hannah Arendt Center at Bard College, jschmidt@bard.edu To submit a paper, click on the link, search for our panel and submit to it (& create an account if you're new): https://pamla.ballastacademic.com/Home/CFP Submissions are open now to April 15.