25 October 2016

‘Keeping the Memory of the Holocaust Alive: Possibilities and Limitations of Performative Practices of Commemoration’

Speaker: Diana Popescu, Pears Institute for the study of Antisemitism, Birkbeck, University of London

1.00 – 2.00pm, Dreyfus Room, 26 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DQ

Increasingly, museum curators and artists in various geographical contexts tell stories about the past using elements borrowed from theatre, digital media, religious ritual and performance art. In these diverse mise-en-scenes, members of the public take on not only the role of learners, but also of agents of commemoration – responsible for keeping the past in living memory, and for standing up to intolerance and injustice in their societies. This paper asks: what are the reasons for the rise in performative practices of commemoration? What might these practices inform us about the functions assigned to Holocaust remembrance in today’s societies? This paper will reflect critically on the impact which experiential forms of engaging with this history have upon contemporary audiences, and on the broader challenges of communicating about the Holocaust without it becoming a moral lesson, or a cultural commodity.

Free seminar for scholars. Limited places: book here

24 November 2016

‘Antisemitism and Antiziganism: Jews and Romanies in the Shadow of Genocide’

Speaker:Alexander Joskowicz, Vanderbilt University

1.00 – 2.00pm, Dreyfus Room, 26 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DQ

This talk traces the entanglement of Jewish and Romani (Gypsy) history in the twentieth and early twenty-first century, from the killing fields of Hitler’s Europe to the postwar creation of archives, debates over compensation, and contemporary Holocaust memorials. It seeks to understand how Jewish archives became central repositories of Romani narratives of suffering, how Jewish scholarship and the model of the Holocaust have shaped understandings of the Romani Holocaust, and how hostility to Jews and to Romanies relate to each other.

Free seminar for scholars. Limited places: book here

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