Memory Studies Associations Conference 2021: Select Panels on Space and/or Holocaust Memory

Next week, the Memory Studies Association Fifth Annual Conference is upcoming. The hosting city is Warsaw, but the conference will take place online, allowing people from all over the world to participate. With about 250 panels, browsing through the program might be a bit overwhelming. Please find below a (subjective) shortlist of panels dealing with Holocaust memory and issues of space and place.

Please note: Registration fee for non-presenting participants is 25 € (you can register here: ). You will be able to attend all panels and special sessions.

Panel descriptions below are excerpts from the conference program. More detailed information, including abstracts of some of the presentations, is available online for registered participants.

Monday, July 5, 2021

12:30 pm – 02:00 pm

Polin Museum of the History of Polish Jews: „Such a Landscape“ („Taki pejzaż“) – Exhibition of Works by Wilhelm Sasnal

Guided Tour by Luiza Nader (Art Critic) and Adam Szymczyk (Curator)
The temporary exhibition of works by Wilhelm Sasnal features his paintings and drawings that depict a familiar yet distant landscape – the landscape after the Holocaust. Sasnal outlines an area that is desolated, denied, shameful and interesting at the same time. But what lies beyond? The artists deviates off the beaten path, exploring the relations between sight and memory, touch and forgetting, language and speechlessness. He employs such figures as Art Spiegelman, Claude Lanzmann or Tadeusz Borowski as his guides and companions. The significance of the Polish landscape – in its physical, cultural and historical dimensions – is put within a broader context of our experience of modernity, also touching upon the issues of politics of memory.

05:00 pm – 07:00 pm

(Im)materiality of Memory. Part 1(2): Wood Matters: Elemental Memory and the Recollection of Violence in Post-Holocaust Poland

Erica Lehrer, The Touch of Wood: A ‚Life Cycle Analysis‘ of Post-WWII Polish ‚Folk‘ Figurines Depicting Jews
Roma Sendyka, An Ecology of Memorial Practice: Remembering the Past of „Non-sites of Memory“ with Wood
Eunice Blavascunas, Lalki (dolls): Rituals beside the Peatbog
Magdalena Waligórska, Wood as the Element of the Shtetl

While substantial research exists on the topic of the material qualities of the Holocaust, the dominant approach to the tangible aspects of memory has been to treat post-Holocaust objects as cultural texts testifying to the war, seeing in them traces of a past lived reality. They are typically viewed (and often sacralized) as a pars pro toto, a kind of stand-in for the victims‘ lives. This human-centric strategy has given way more recently to new-materialist perspectives, where objects are taken as active agents in memorial processes, possessing independent testimonial faculties and exerting a variety of forces that condition the very possibilities for remembering. This panel takes such materialist thinking a step further, to inquire about the specific mnemonic properties of the natural world, in the form of its material elements: rocks, soil, water, air, wood, etc. Can these elements be considered a kind of memorial environment apart, affording, even conditioning memory in ways particular to the qualities of natural habitats?

05:00 pm – 07:00 pm

Memory and Geography. Part 1(4): Narratives in Space and Place

Elena Hubner, Facing the Nazi past in Nuremberg – Deciphering memorial sites with a geography of placemories
Miranda Meyer, Sectarian Commemoration in Postwar Lebanon 
Michael Hawkins, Plastic Stadiums: The loss of backstory and memory in English football
Samuel Smith, State History Museums and Public Memory: Initial Comparative Findings 
Derek Alderman, Reuben Rose-Redwood, Embattled Names, Wounded Places, and the Struggle for Racial Justice: Learning from and Reforming the University Commemorative Landscape 

Memory takes place somewhere. Memory, memorial landscapes, and memory work have thoroughly permeated the field of geography, and geography, in turn, has begun to influence a spatial turn within memory studies. As the social science of where, geography is uniquely placed to examine the spaces, places, and landscapes that attend the process of remembering and forgetting. This panel seeks to further bridge geography and memory studies through interdisciplinary engagement with space, place, landscape, and memory. This panel explores this spatial turn in memory studies and what an intense focus on the geographies of memory might offer theoretically, empirically, and politically.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

11:00 am – 01:00 pm

Environmental Memory

Piotr Szpunar, Archives at the End of the World: Memory, Media, and Climate Change Futures at Svalbard
Maryam Adjam, Sensing the Absence: Memoryscapes of the Missing
Anindita Shome, Climate Change and Collective Memories: Understanding the Role of Memories and Alternate Narratives in Climate Fiction
Ifor Duncan, Drought in the Rivers of Forgetting: the Wisła, Soła, Przeszma Rivers and the Legacies of Genocide
Maria Piekarska, Forest as a Memorial? Exploring Forests as Organic-Commemorative Assemblages in a Contested Territory

11:00 am – 01:00 pm

(Im)materiality of Memory. Part 2(2): Material and Immaterial Traces of the Shtetl in Post-Holocaust East-Central Europe

Natalia Romik, Hiding Places. The Architecture of Survival?
Yechiel Weizman, Zoom and the Shtetl. Towards a New (Im)Materiality of the Memory of the Holocaust
Alexander Friedman, The Jewish Ruin and the Topos of the Hidden Jewish Treasure
Ina Sorkina, The Second Life of Jewish Belongings: Retrieving and Exhibiting Jewish Objects in a Former Belarusian Shtetl
Ulrike Huhn, The Leningrad Jewish Independent Movement and the Quest for Jewish Heritage in the Ukrainian and Belarusian Shtetls

The focus of the panel is the convergence of two juxtaposed vectors of memory: 1) the dematerialization and 2) re-materialization of Jewish traces. Looking at the way material objects/traces (such as private belongings, sacral spaces, cemeteries or hideouts) become „immaterial“ in the process of erasure, repurposing, overwriting, and overgrowing, we wish to ponder both on the processes of appropriation and the wider context of implication. Covering case studies from Poland, Belarus, Ukraine and Israel, the panel proposes a comparative perspective on the (im)materiality of memory in a transnational context, with a special focus on the convergences of the material and immaterial, the digital and the analogue, the human and the non-human.

01:00 pm – 03:00 pm

Literary Co-Memoration between East-Central Europe and Its Other(s)

Daniela Henke, The Concept of Co-Memoration: Ethical and Narratological Reflections
Anja Tippner, „This will stay with me forever“: Graphic Co-memoration of the Leningrad Blockade and the Great Terror in Olga Lavrent’eva’s graphic novel „Survilo“
Lena Wetenkamp, „To whom do these victims belong?“ Co-memoration in Katja Petrowskaja’s „Vielleicht Esther“
Urania Milevski, Narrating Failed Co-memoration: Maxim Biller’s „Sechs Koffer“

In accordance with recent shifts in memory studies we assume that the fall of the Wall, as well as a growing postcolonial awareness, have lifted the taboo on comparison and have led to an increased convergence of memories. We believe that literature in particular offers the discursive space to compare and contrast traumatic experiences by emulating fictional dialogues and by using the licences of fiction to address the ethical and political implications of such comparisons. It should be stressed that in our understanding of co-memoration, to compare is to show the differences between experiences as much as the commonalities.

01:00 pm – 03:00 pm

Nostalgia for the Lost Jewish World

Adrienne Wallman, Jewish Genealogy as Mnemonic Palimpsest
Agata Szepe, Warsaw is not a Polish Mother any more. Remediations of the Figure of „Polish mother“ in Israeli Leisure Tourism Memories
Murat Bengisu, Alejandro Gagin and His Visual Heritage – Writing the Collective Memory of Izmir’s Communities Between the 1930s and 1950s with the Aid of Foto Gagin’s Photographs
Aneta Dybska, The Street as a Vehicle of Memory
Julia Golachowska, Museum of Nostalgia. The Jewish Heritage in Polish City Museums: Łódź and Białystok

01:00 pm – 03:00 pm

Tools and Sites of Remembering Political Violence: Bodies, Memes, Hashtags, Family

Jessica Auchter, The Human Body as Site of Memory Politics
Victor Igreja, Memories as Weapons and Negotiations of Legacies of Intragroup Violence in Timor Leste 1974–1999
Ekaterina V. Haskins, Remembering the War, Forgetting Stalin’s Repressions: Appeals to Family Memory in Contemporary Russia
Nicole Maurantonio, Waging the #TarpWars: Forgetting the Confederate Past
Johanna Mannergren Selimovic, Reconciling and/or remembering? Untangling the memory and reconciliation nexus

This panel is one of the two bringing together a group of authors currently working on their chapter contributions to the Handbook on the Politics of Memory (ed. by Maria Mälksoo, Edward Elgar, forthcoming 2022). The panel probes various tools and sites of remembering political violence, exploring convergences between Memory Studies, Critical Peace Research and forensic science, along with those between the politically powerful tropes of identity, memory, trauma and reconciliation across different empirical contexts from Bosnia Herzegovina and Russia to the United States and Timor Leste.

05:00 pm – 07:00 pm

Constellations of Colonial Memory: Connected Frames of War, Violence, and Displacement in the Twentieth Century

Elsa Peralta, Migrants Across Empires: Connected (Hi)Stories of War, Colonialism and Displacement
Sílvia Correia, Narratives of war and colonialism: entangled memories of the First World War in Africa
Piera Rossetto, Mapping Difficult Memories. Cultural Remembrances of Italian Postcolonial Repatriations
Meghan Tinsley, Restoring Melancholia: The Garden of Tropical Agronomy
Jonas Prinzleve, Implicated Space: Mobilizing the In/Visible Debris of Genocide

The various communications will place seemingly disparate experiences of war and violence within a joint analytical framework to provide a displaced angle that will help revitalize research on cultural memory by suggesting a systemic, multi-layered approach. The panel will thus contribute to overcome the theoretical shortcomings arising from conventional academic approaches to comparison by stressing the multiple entanglements between disparate frames of memory. Moreover, it will consider the centrality and significance of other geographies, not only regarding twentieth-century experiences of war, but mostly with respect to their processes of remembrance. Interdisciplinarity is at the heart of this proposal, connecting perspectives from historians, anthropologists, and sociologists, dedicated to cross-cutting approaches to Memory Studies.

05:00 pm – 07:00 pm

Embodying memory

Catrina De Rivera, Writing the Body: Affect, Perpetration, and Historical Fiction
Marije Hristova, Monika Żychlińska, On Cursed Soldiers Exhumations and the Abortion Ban: Past and Future Lives in Polish Messianic Memory Politics
Lise Zurné, The Feel of War: Exploring the Body, Senses and Emotions in the Historical Re-Enactment of World War II 
Raina Zimmering, Performative and Bodily Mediation of Memory in the Zapatista Communities

05:00 pm – 07:00 pm

Memories of the Lost Cause. Communities of Defeat in Germany, Poland, and the United States

Hanno Hochmuth, Spatialized Memories of the „South“ and the „East“. Monuments, Museums and Movies of a Lost Cause in Germany and the U.S.
Tilmann Siebeneichner, The „Marsch zu den Gräbern“. Commemorating the political soldier in 20th century Germany
Maria Kobielska, Lost Cause and Late Victories. „Cursed/Doomed Soldiers“ Memory Boom in Poland
Martin Bayer, (Re-)Making History: On the Convergence of Remembrance in German First World War Memorials
Alexandra Viets, Poland, Reexamined

The session „Memories of the Lost Cause“ takes up a comparative perspective directed towards „communities of defeat“ in Germany, Poland and the US throughout the 19th and 20th century. By addressing how such communities are constructed and how they interact, the session discusses structures, practices and purposes connected to a „lost cause“ in a historical and transnational perspective. What role did these „inferior“ narratives play in overcoming crisis-ridden transformation periods (in bridging or deepening societal division)? Who provided and stimulated „lost causes“ and how did they interact with popular media? To what extend are they fueled by economic interests or could even considered to be inventions of the economy itself? Discussing economic, historical and cultural dimensions of a „lost cause“ might also shed a light on the social processes of temporalizing contested places such as the American „South“, the GDR and war-torn Poland since they all symbolize a lost and somewhat idealized past.

05:00 pm – 07:00 pm

Memory and Geography. Part 2(4): Ruins and Rights – Urban Memory Politics

Adam Lundberg, Contested Jewish place after the Holocaust: Spatial memories and landscape ruination in Berlin and Malmö
Stefan Norgaard, Footprints About the Bantustan: Recombinant Urbanization and Memory in former South African Bantustans and their Contemporary Urban Governance Arrangements
Scott Webster, Revisiting Memoricide
Gruia Bǎdescu, Transnational sites of memory after political violence: Multi-scalar entanglements in Latin American Southern Cone memorialization practices
Pamela Sertzen, Mobilizing Memories of Marielle Franco for Spatial Justice

With contributions from a broad array of scholars studying the spatiality of memory, as well as those whose research specifically is in dialogue with the conference highlight on „the role of public memory in democratic societies and in the struggle for racial justice,“ this second of four panels highlights two clear themes of ruination and memory in urban contexts. Overall, we hope this session will further link the scholarship of geographers working at the intersection of memory, social justice, and politics with the growing voice of the memory studies community.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

09:30 am – 11:30 am

Social Conditions of the Narrative about the Holocaust in Contemporary Culture in Poland

Katarzyna Chmielewska, The Politics of Memory in the Class Context: Holocaust and Intelligence
Tomasz Żukowski, Under the Pressure: Narratives About the Holocaust in Polish Culture
Magdalena Nowicka-Franczak, The Polish Catholic Church and the Public Memory of Shoah: Between Recognition and Rejection
Aleksandra Szczepan, Colonial Fantasies of Postgenocidal Void: Imaging Eastern Europe in Holocaust Studies

In this panel, we would like to discuss the social determinants of narration about the Holocaust in contemporary narratives. We want to ask how the factor of social class, groups, political, social, religious and cultural power and authority influence the shaping of the story. We are interested in examining which subjects and threads are acceptable, which will be omitted, who is allowed to speak and who should remain silent. We will consider how this field of tension acts in Poland.

09:30 am – 11:30 am

Memory of Objects – Objects of Memory

Jagoda Mytych, Ribbon, Bell, Emerald, Stamp: Things go on Disappearing. Remembering the Forgotten as an Act of Resistance in Yoko Ogawa’s „The Memory Police“
Ana Adamović, Zsuzsi Flohr, The Backpack and the Camel
Karolina Ćwiek-Rogalska, Recycling German Ghost. Memory Strategies in Poland after 1945
Annika Björkdahl, Stefanie Kappler, Matter Matters in Memory-Making: The Material of Women’s Spaces in Peace
Philipp Schultheiss, Military Objects as Identity Anchors. Aspects of Memorialization in the German Security Sector Reform after 1990

09:30 am – 11:30 am

Polish Perspectives on Holocaust Memory

Joanna Nizynska, New York Times and Polish-Jewish Memory in Postcommunist Poland
Paweł Michna, Prospective Politics of Memory in Albums from the Łódź Ghetto
Maria Ferenc, Mordechaj Anielewicz – the Making of a Hero
Jan Borowicz, Polish Perverse Memory of the Holocaust. Towards New Categorization of the Bystander
Matilda Mroz, Non-sites of Memory in Polish Aftermath Cinema: Human Decomposition and Aesthetic Composition in Recent Polish Films of the Holocaust

01:00 pm – 03:00 pm

The Memorial Wars in the Post-Soviet Space

Oksana Dovgopolova, Babyn Yar as a Space of Commemorative Competition in Contemporary Ukraine
Aleksey Kamenskikh, Memory Politics in Contemporary Russia: Narrative Controversies
Lia Dostlieva and Andrii Dostliev, Reconstruction of Memory
Elmira Nogoibaeva, Four Epochs of the Memorial Complex „Ata-Beyit“ (Tomb of the Fathers) in Kyrgyzstan
Olga Lebedeva, „He was terrible, he was perfect“: Joseph Stalin in the Museums in the Ex-Soviet Countries

In focus of our panel are the lines of memorial conflicts in different post-Soviet countries. We see necessity of comparison of the experience of countries, being quite far from one another at the present moment: Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Ukraine. We need this optics in context of the problem of re-interpretation of Soviet memorial habits, that is quite different in the noted countries. Working through/in-line-with Soviet memorial traditions here mirrors the complicated processes of post-Soviet political evolution. It is important to compare memorial policy of the countries, a) evolving towards aggressive authoritarian regime (Russia), b) turbulently trying to assert its independence (Ukraine) and c) balancing in search of working through tragic past and searching the positive memorial language (Kyrgyzstan).

01:00 pm – 03:00 pm

From Spaces of Perpetration to Sites of Memory

Brigitte Jirku, Contested Zone: Memory Politics in the Case of Buchenwald
Jaume Peris Blanes, Villa Grimaldi and the Spatialization of Overlapping Memories
Vicente Sánchez-Biosca, From Shock to Culture: Repurposing Khmer Rouge Torture Center S-21 from the Atrocity Paradigm to Cultural Heritage
Francisco Ferrándiz, Airborne Necropolitics: Francisco Franco Exhumed
Sarah Nimführ, Preserving Urban Jewish Heritage in Sosúa

This panel will analyze the transformation of four emblematic cases from spaces of repression to sites of memory with a particular focus on the resignifying processes of the spaces and the narratives that accompany them. The presenters are members of the research project „From Spaces of Perpetration to Sites of Memory. Forms of Representation“, led by Vicente Sánchez Biosca and associated with the research group REPERCRI (Representaciones de perpetradores de crímenes de masas). The panel addresses literature, testimony, archive materials, television discourses and the special and symbolic shaping of the museum as an object of analysis that may help understand the complexity of resignifying processes of these spaces of violence which, over time, have been transformed into sites of memory.

01:00 pm – 03:00 pm

Memory and Geography. Part 3(4): Racial Justice

Jordan Brasher, Charlottesville Reverberates in Brazil: Exploring Transnational Confederate Memory
Jacque Micieli-Voutsinas, Geographies of Blackness & the High War on Terror: Revisiting the 9/11 Memorial Museum and its Discontents
Doron Eldar, The Changing Landscape of Heritage in the Uneven Landscape of American Morality
Mary Biggs, „You Are Here“: Text, Landscape, and the Rebirth of the Confederacy at Fort Fisher State Historic Site

With contributions from a broad array of scholars studying the spatiality of memory, as well as those whose research specifically is in dialogue with the conference highlight on „the role of public memory in democratic societies and in the struggle for racial justice,“ this third of four panels highlights the often transnational overlaps of historicization, memory, and racial justice in space and place. Overall, we hope this session will further link the scholarship of geographers working at the intersection of memory, social justice, and politics with the growing voice of the memory studies community.

04:30 pm – 06:30 pm

Globalized Memorial Museums. Exhibiting Atrocities in the Era of Claims for Moral Universals

Ljiljana Radonić, Globalization, Universalization and Individualization of Memory at the Museum
Zuzanna Dziuban, Curating Human Remains in Museums Devoted to Political Violence
Eric Sibomana, Musealization of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda – Exhibition of Human Remains
Frauke Kempka, André Hertrich, Depicting Soldiers and Sex-slaves in Japanese Memorial Museums: ‚Photography-walls‘ at the Yûshûkan and the Women’s Active Museum
Markéta Bajgerová, Forget National Humiliation? Transforming Memory Politics and WWII Museums in Contemporary China

This panel focuses on institutional convergences looking at how memorial museums across the world learn from each other as their knowledge, aesthetics, and images travel across regions – and what gets lost or transformed in this process of translation into the indigenous context. We also focus on historical convergences when comparing how European, especially Central-East European, representations of WWII memory resonate with Japanese and Chinese musealizations of the Asian-Pacific WWII arena.
The panel is built around the ERC Consolidator Grant project „Globalized Memorial Museums. Exhibiting Atrocities in the Era of Claims for Moral Universals“, which critically examines the concepts of „globalization of memory“ and „universalization of the Holocaust“ through a systematic comparison of 50 memorial museums worldwide.

04:30 pm – 06:30 pm

Memory and Geography. Part 4(4): Innovations and Intersections

Roundtable participants: Miranda Meyer, Pamela Sertzen, Stefan Norgaard, Mark Rhodes, Gruia Badescu, Jordan Brasher

This roundtable rounds out a series of paper sessions on geography and memory. We especially hope to highlight intersections and new innovations in geography and critical memory studies. We bring together diverse voices from geography, urban planning, and memory studies who work on commemorative issues around the world to develop links between geography and memory and to discuss the potential for a Memory and Space Working Group within MSA. Overall, we hope this roundtable will further link the scholarship of geographers working at the intersection of memory, social justice, and politics with the growing voice of the memory studies community and provide a forum for discussion following a series of paper panel sessions on geography and memory.

04:30 pm – 06:30 pm

Theorizing Non-Human memories

Russell Kilbourn, Posthuman Memory: An Introduction
Cilliers Van Den Berg, The Convergence of Assemblages? On Deleuze & Guattari and Memory Cultures
Evelien Geerts, The 22/3 Memorial: New Materialist Encounters with the More-than-human Materialization of Memory and Commemoration
Katarzyna Glab, More-than-Human Memory: How the Porous Memory Creates the Memory Landscape
Raisa Foster, Sami Keto, Zsuzsa Millei, Recognizing Ecosocialization and Facilitating Transformative World-Making Through Collective Memory Work

04:30 pm – 06:30 pm

Unsilencing the Past: Experiences of Atrocity and its Legacy in Literature and Art. Part 2(2)

Sue Vice and Dominic Williams, Collective Spatial Memory in Claude Lanzmann’s Shoah Outtakes
Marzena Sokołowska-Paryż, Commemorating the Armenian Genocide in the Post-Memory Family Story
Marie Jadot, Listening to Music in Contemporary Dutch War Literature dealing with the ‚Wrong‘ Pasts of Second- and Third-Generation War Victims
Anna Maria Sienicka, The Monstrous Movement of Butoh as Memory and Rebirth of the Body
Raphaëlle Tchamitchian, Unsilencing Slavery in Contemporary African American Drama

The panel explores a broad range of narrative forms from film and literature to drama and dance which focus on violent histories from the perspective of the (narrative) present. The papers examine the ways in which creative responses to violence shape postmemory and second generation memories, unsilencing the previously unknown. Brought together, the papers in this panel demonstrate the recurring patterns of exclusion and inclusion in memory-making and commemoration practices across different time periods and geographical locations.

06:30 pm – 08:00 pm

The Implicated Subject: Rethinking Memory and Responsibility

Michael Rothberg in conversation with Sakiru Adebayo, Katarzyna Bojarska, Erica Lehrer, and Monica Szurmuk. Chair: Jeffrey Olick.

Thursday, July 8, 2021

11:00 am – 01:00 pm

Holocaust Memory: Witnesses and Trauma

Lauren Cantillon, Narrating Taboo: Textures of Emotion(s) when Remembering Sexual Violence During the Holocaust
Elise Sammons, Memories of Tragedy and Joy: Survivor Memory of the Voyage of the M.S. St. Louis
Hannah Wilson, Convergences in the Home: The Material Memory of Sobibór Death Camp in Private and Familial Spaces
Lenka Skardova, Bridging the Gap and its Impact on the Researcher
Alexander Williams, Witnessing the Ghost, Letting the Ghost Witness: Exploring the Impediments of Witness Narratives in Holocaust Camp Testimonies Through Spectrality and the Metaphor of the Muselmann

11:00 am – 01:00 pm

Victims, Perpetrators and Implicated Subjects in Central and Eastern Europe

Margaret Comer, Portraying Perpetration, Victimhood, and Implication at Sites of Soviet Repression in Moscow
Daria Mattingly, Implicated Subjects of the Holodomor
Anna Artwińska, Transfers, Shifts and Corrections. The Memory of the Perpetrators in Polish and Czech Contemporary Culture
Diana Popa, Spectacular Provocations: Implicated Spectators in Contemporary Hungarian and Romanian Historical Films
Discussant: Liljana Radonic

Many scholars in memory studies have drawn attention to the inadequacy of the victim-perpetrator dichotomy for understanding political violence in various historical situation and even more so in remembering the violence by subsequent generations. Eastern Europe is a case in point here. Soviet repressions in Russia often turned perpetrators of the first wave of repressions into the victims of the next (Etkind 2013). During WWII in East Central Europe, Ukraine and the Baltic states the victims of one occupying regime sometimes became the perpetrators of the next. During the socialist regime in Eastern Europe most of people did not occupy neither of these two positions, but still suffered and/or were complicit with autoritarian regimes. How to describe the convergence of these subject positions in relations to violence? And what are the forms of implication (Rothberg 2019) of contemporary generations of Eastern Europeans in this past?

11:00 am – 01:00 pm

Digital Memory. Part 2(2): Holocaust

Ruta Kazlauskaite, Limits of Immersion: Engagement and Detachment in Historical Representation of Difficult Histories
Tabea Widmann, The Longing to Reach (for) the Past. Digital Games as Converging Spheres of Becoming between Media Performance and Memory Practice
Kate Marrison, Digital Witness: Embodied Encounters with Holocaust Memory
Anna Maria Droumpouki, Agiatis Benardou, Immersing in Difficult Pasts: The Case of Block 15, the Concentration Camp in Haidari, Western Attica
Steffi De Jong, Witness Auschwitz? Convergences of Memorial Media and Discourses in VR Simulations of Concentration Camps

03:00 pm – 05:00 pm

The Rescue Turn. Holocaust Memory, Politics, and Debates

Roundtable participants: Zofia Wóycicka, Mark Roseman, Anna Maria Droumpouki, Anna Bikont, Natalia Aleksiun, Professor, Sarah Gensburger

The roundtable will be based on the forthcoming edited collection: „The Rescue Turn. Holocaust Memory, Politics, and Debates“, Natalia Aleksiun, Raphael Utz, Zofia Wóycicka (eds.), Wayne State University Press. The book consist of ten articles, each dealing with a different country – Belarus, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Macedonia, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia and Ukraine – and focusing on different aspects and manifestations of the memory of the rescue of Jews. This should allow for a broader comparison of developments in different parts of Europe, which will also be the main focus of our roundtable discussion.

03:00 pm – 05:00 pm

Memory, Space and Place

Roundtable participants: Anita Bakshi, Kerry Whigham, Derek Alderman, Rebeca Helfer, Gruia Badescu

The „spatial turn“ has brought new dimensions of research in the humanities and the social sciences, highlighting the importance of space, place, cities and the built environment in the study of social and political processes. As Foucault put it, our obsession with time has long obscured interests in place, but place has been coming also to the forefront. There has been an increasing engagement of memory scholars with the spatial and material dimension in memory. This roundtable aims to bring together perspectives from different disciplines that address the intersections of memory and space, and to bring in dialogue theories, methods and research directions. It will discuss both the spatial turn in memory studies as well as the interest in memory in the „spatial“ disciplines. It also aims to contribute to the shaping of a dialogue within MSA on the relationships between memory and place.

03:00 pm – 05:00 pm

Nationalist Memory Versus Cosmopolitan Memory: Evidence from Recent Research into the Social Memory of Auschwitz and the Holocaust in Poland

Katarzyna Stec, Sylwia Sadlik, Who did it to whom? The representation of Holocaust protagonists in Polish primary education since 2017
Marta Duch-Dyngosz, Katarzyna Stec, Extreme right’s „struggle for the historical truth“ of Auschwitz
Marek Kucia, The nationalists‘ assaults on the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, and replies to them
Maciej Koniewski, Marek Kucia, Measuring Auschwitz memory: collected and collective, nationalist and cosmopolitan, particularist and universalist

This panel will deal with selected aspects of the development of nationalist memory in opposition to cosmopolitan Holocaust memory in Poland since 2015, i.e., since Andrzej Duda became the president and the Law and Justice (PiS) party with its allies began ruling the country. The objective will be to discuss theoretical, methodological, and empirical problems of research into nationalist memory and cosmopolitan memory, based upon the results of the ongoing research project titled „Auschwitz in the social memory of Poles 75 years on: In the context of changes of the memory of the Holocaust and World War II and the politics of memory in Poland, Europe and the world,“ grant No. 2018/29/B/HS6/02133, financed by the National Science Centre, Poland. The project, begun in 2019 and scheduled until 2022, takes a sociological perspective.

03:00 pm – 05:00 pm

The Memory of the European WWII Reconstruction Era as Mediated by the Plurimedial Visual Network

Andrea Průchová Hrůzová, Visual Tropes of the Czechoslovak Wartime Ruins in the Liberal and Communist Era
Francesco Pitassio, From Rubble to Ruins: War Destruction, Post-war Reconstruction and Tamed Modernization
Perrine Val, Moving bodies and machines to embody the Reconstruction
Johannes Praetorius-Rhein, But we don’t like to talk about that. Vernacular memory in documentaries from the Postwar Germanies

This panel consists of four presentations delivered by researchers, who have been collectively involved in the international research project HERA Victor-E „Visual Culture of Trauma, Obliteration and Reconstruction in Post WW II-Europe“ (FR, CZ, GE, IT). The project explores the destruction and reconstruction of public spaces as represented by the non-fiction cinema from 1944-1956. The research examines documentaries, newsreels and utility films as well as the wider periodical visual culture (photo-books, photographs, posters, blueprints etc.) as they promoted specific forms of historical awareness. All four presentations, drawing upon the fields of film history, media studies and visual culture studies, understand the examined visual sources as active agents of cultural memory.

Friday, July 9, 2021

10:00 am – 12:00 noon

Memories and Monuments

Magdalena Buchczyk, Duane Jethro, Monumental Convergences, Empty Pedestals
Ignacio Bresco De Luna, Brady Wagoner, Memorials and Counter-Memorials: A Comparison from the Standpoint of Visitors’ Experience
Charalampos Karpouchtsis, The German Bird: A Wehrmacht Monument in Crete and a Struggle of Narratives
Antoni Zakrzewski, „I don’t think we will build this monument“. The Forgotten Statue of Stalin in Warsaw

10:00 am – 12:00 noon

Memory of Places – Places of Memory: East and Central European Cities as Convergence Points

Marta Koval, Problematizing and Defining Memory of Places: Sarajevo in American Émigré Literary Imagination
Radomyr Mokryk, Space of Dissent: Kyiv and Memory of the Dissident Movement in Ukraine
Marek Wilczynski, Gdanzig: the German Cultural Heritage of Gdansk in Recent Polish Fiction
Amanda Sharick, Katharine G. Trostel, Marjorie Agosin, The Venice Ghetto Collaboration: Emplaced Memories
Kamilla Biskupska, What Does Post-German Mean? On the Cultural Heritage of Wroclaw in the Narratives of its Inhabitants

Svetlana Boym claims that places such as cities are themselves contexts for remembrance and debates about the future. The panel builds on the concept of memory of places and its generic ambiguity. We will look at East and Central European cities (Lviv, Kyiv, Gdansk, and Bucharest) as places of cultural, political, and historical convergences and discuss how their memories are inscribed in cityscape, how these cities create commemorative conventions and rituals, and how their disputable memories are represented in works of art and modern cityscape.

10:00 am – 12:00 noon

Spatial Memory of the Holocaust

Julia Sahlstrom, Memory and Justice: Swedish-Jewish Responses to the Holocaust
Marie Eberson Degnæs, Home is Where a Holocaust-Monument is?
Katarzyna Grzybowska, Transmission Paths of Memory. A Case Study of ow Local Inhabitant Inherit the Knowledge About Genocide in the Context of Environmental Memory
Jazmine Contreras, “Let their names live on”: The Struggle for Amsterdam’s Holocaust Monument

10:00 am – 12:00 noon

Relational Memories

Irina Tcherneva, Soviet Cameras Documenting the Nazi Crimes (1941–1947)
Fabian Schmidt, Selectivity and Media Convergence
Lital Henig, Noga Stiassny, How images relate – Towards a ‚Taxonomy of Relations‘ for visual culture and memory studies
Ingo Zechner, Annotating and linking – Establishing relations in the Visual History of the Holocaust Media Management and Search Infrastructure

Each presentation will revisit from different perspectives the film documents and other visual records created by the Allied Forces as they liberated concentration camps and other atrocity sites.  Originally intended to assist audiences both near and far in relating to the documented crimes, the Allies‘ visual records have shaped our visual understanding of the Holocaust. However, not only that images of liberation have been transferred to other media, transformed, or recreated, only a few, often highly specialised archivists, curators, media producers, and scholars have so far had the chance to inspect these visual records, and then only in archives where the images are usually deprived of their production context and isolated from their afterlife. By way of contrast, our panel will present the EU-funded project „Visual History of the Holocaust: Rethinking Creation in the Digital Age (VHH)“ (, of which we are all members. Together, we will use the so-called visual footage of liberation and its function to visualise the Holocaust as a challenging test case for the combination of digitised film documents with other digitised assets from the history of the Holocaust (e.g. testimonies, historical text documents and photographs), and for the comprehensive annotation, mapping, and analysis of individual events and places, stories, formal and narrative patterns.

12:00 – 02:00 pm

Five Scenarios of Placement: Towards New Conceptualisations of Place in Memory or Memory in Place

Sjamme van de Voort, „Don’t tell us we’re not Cuban!“ How Nostalgia makes Miami an Island on the Mainland
Hannah Smyth, The Heritage of 1916 on Twitter: #Womenof1916
Rebecca Staats, Making places from memory: exploring the role of memory in local place development
Nicolás Villarroel, Place and Ambivalence: Memories of the Chilean Dictatorship in Australia

Uniting five early stage researchers from different geographical and disciplinary backgrounds around this central topic, the panel will address the analysis of memory from the respective backgrounds of the panelists, working towards an understanding of the common factor in our research: the place-making capacities of memory that become clear when analysing the convergences of mnemonic dynamics. We investigate how dynamics of memory, emerging from the writing of history, the organising of archeological databases, branding strategies or commemorations on social media, converge in space to make meaningful places. The diverse backgrounds of the panelists forces the discussion to step back from predisposed notions of memory bounded by traditional disciplinary divisions and provides the opportunity to move beyond the role of memory in the particular places and spaces, towards common frameworks of understanding.

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