CfP: Genealogies of Memory: The Holocaust between Global and Local Perspectives


Extended submission deadline: 21 June 2020 
New conference format: online

Due to the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus epidemic, we have decided to introduce a new conference format. In November 2020, we will organise eight online sessions instead of a traditional conference.

The aim of the conference is to assess the current state of Holocaust memory research. The context for this is, on the one hand, the globalisation and universalisation of the meaning of the Holocaust and, on the other, the recently postulated empirical turn in Holocaust memory studies towards primary texts and sources as well as local spaces and materialities (e.g. forensic studies and environmental Holocaust studies), or the use of a grounded research perspective with regard to Holocaust memory and education.

We want to discuss the interplay between the universal (global, transnational) scale of Holocaust memory and that anchored in the endemic space and culture of historical experience (local, ethnic, national). We are interested in the influences between the diverse mnemonic scales, including both mutual inspiration and conceptual misuses, thus the question of the ontological and ethical limits of mnemonic universalisation, on the one hand, and of micro contextualisation of memories on the other.

We are inviting scholars of various disciplines to reflect on these issues based on their research of social and cultural memories in various dimensions: from linguistic and textual, through institutional, political, psychological, up to material, spatial and technological. We propose the following thematic blocks for discussion yet other proposals are welcome as well:

  • Theoretical concepts and approaches – interconnections between national, transnational and global frameworks of Holocaust memory studies; a critical history focusing on the globalisation process of Holocaust memory studies, e.g. reconciliation and conflict in memory politics, global values and local sites of genocide;
  • Local historiographies and global challenges – national and local traditions of history writing, their narrative and thematic structures, and methodologies applied; the impact of international knowledge transfer; the phenomenon of Holocaust denial in contemporary societies;
  • Languages – significance of endemic languages of Holocaust victims (also in the context of contemporary Holocaust studies methodology), language stratification according to various social backgrounds of language practitioners; different genres of sources, including testimony, and the challenge of, or misuse by, globalisation;
  • Memory landscapes – national and local (non-)sites of traumatic memory and their discursive environments; socio-spatial forms and practices of remembering and oblivion; troubled histories and competitive victimhoods in local memory landscapes;
  • Materialities of memory – localisation of the Holocaust, including ghettos, by studying material remains, the (im)possibility of globalisation of local material legacies; local collections – practices of archiving and musealisation aiming at preserving and presenting artefacts of the Holocaust.
  • New media and technologies – their role in documenting, archiving and commemorating local histories related to the Holocaust; transmission of knowledge about local legacies to global communities;
  • Memory institutions and agents – the global meets the local: transnational institutions in conjunction with local initiatives; local communities’ reception of, and involvement in, transnational actions; the impact of international institutional memory policies at national level;
  • Tourism – the ethics and aesthetics of dark tourism and heritage routes;

Invited speakers

• Omer Bartov (Brown University)
• Daniel Blatman (Warsaw Ghetto Museum, Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
• Piotr Cywiński (Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum)
• Dorota Głowacka (University of Kings' College, Halifax, Canada)
• Éva Kovács (Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies)
• Ewa Domańska (Adam Mickiewicz University Poznań, Stanford University)
• Mindaugas Kvietkausas (Vilnius University)
• Daniel Levy (Stony Brook University)

Organisational information

The conference will be organised as a series of online sessions broadcast on YouTube and Facebook, with the following schedule:

4 November 2020, 14:00–17:00 hrs. EET (Wednesday) – Session One 
5 November 2020, 14:00–17:00 hrs. EET (Thursday) – Session Two
10 November 2020, 14:00–17:00 hrs. EET (Tuesday) – Session Three 
12 November 2020, 14:00–17:00 hrs. EET (Thursday) – Session Four 
18 November 2020, 14:00–17:00 hrs. EET (Wednesday) – Session Five 19 November 2020, 14:00–17:00 hrs. EET (Thursday) – Session Six
25 November 2020, 14:00–17:00 hrs. EET (Wednesday) – Session Seven 

26 November 2020, 14:00–17:00 hrs. EET (Thursday) – Session Eight: networking + roundtable discussion

A post-conference publication is planned in the form of a collected volume by a prestigious international academic publisher.

The conference also aims at strengthening academic exchange, in particular by creating opportunities for young scholars to network with more established researchers and academics.

We encourage applicants to send abstracts of maximum 350 words, together with a brief biographical statement and a scan of the signed ‘Consent Clause of the conference abstract provider’ to by 21 June 2020.

The results will be announced by 31 July 2020.

Draft papers (2,000–2,500 words) should be submitted by 15 October 2020.

The conference sessions will be recorded and published online.

It will be possible to include presentations in Prezi, PowerPoint and other formats in the online sessions.

The conference language is English.


European Network Remembrance and Solidarity (ENRS)

The European Network Remembrance and Solidarity (ENRS) is an international undertaking aimed at study, documentation and dissemination of knowledge about the history of 20th century Europe and forms of its commemoration, with particular consideration given to periods of dictatorship, war and social upheaval in the face of oppression. The Network’s members are Germany, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania while Albania, Austria, the Czech Republic, and Georgia have observer status. More:

Partner institutions:

▪ Jewish Historical Institute, Warsaw
▪ Institute of Sociology, University of Warsaw
▪ Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Berlin

Institutions invited to academic discussion:
▪ Faculty of Polish Studies, Jagiellonian University, Cracow
▪ Warsaw Ghetto Museum
▪ Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies
▪ German Historical Institute, Warsaw
▪ The Ghetto Fighters’ House Museum, Israel
▪ Holocaust Memorial Center, Budapest
▪ Mémorial de la Shoah, Paris

Conference Committee:

▪ Małgorzata Pakier, ENRS (Convenor); Małgorzata Wosińska, JHI (Convenor)

▪ Małgorzata Głowacka-Grajper (Warsaw University), Lior Inbar (The Ghetto Fighters' House Museum), Adam Kerpel-Fronius (Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe), Audrey Kichelewski (Mémorial de la Shoah), Tamás Kovács (Holocaust Memorial Center), Béla Rásky (Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies), Roma Sendyka (Jagiellonian University), Paweł Śpiewak (Jewish Historical Institute), Hanna Węgrzynek (Warsaw Ghetto Museum), Zofia Wóycicka (German Historical Institute)

▪ Gábor Danyi, ENRS (Project Coordinator)


Download Call for Papers

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