Closure of Conference project. Post-Conference Plans

Many many thanks to everyone who participated in the conference, to all those who presented papers, read their poetry or translations, contributed to discussions or just came to listen.

This blog will remain open as a record of the conference proceedings and will continue to include the programme, the abstracts of the presentations and the short biographies of the participants.

We have removed the conference papers from this site because we intend to include revised versions in a post-conference book. This book will not be a representation of the conference proceedings as such, however, but a volume of articles roughly reflecting the structure of the conference. The book will be edited by Ursula Philips, supported by a team of advisers (Urszula Chowaniec, Knut Andreas Grimstad, Kris Van Heuckelom and Elwira Grossman). It is expected that the volume will appear in 2013.

Should anyone wish to contact the authors of papers or read the original papers, please contact the conference organizer.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Joanna Michlic (Brandeis University)

“Living in the Shadow of Wartime Traumas: Contemporary Autobiographical Writings of Child Holocaust Survivors in Poland.”

The paper will focus on the traumatic impact of the Second World War on child Holocaust survivors, and how it is translated in autobiographical literature through the works of Michał Głowiński (1934) and Piotr Matywiecki (1943), two acclaimed figures of the contemporary Polish literary world. During the last two decades, both Matywiecki and Głowiński have written about their wartime experiences, and the complexities of their postwar double identities as Jewish survivors and Poles living in post-1945 Poland. Their writing on the subject can be interpreted as a meaningful search for identity, a compelling confession and a powerful desire to come out of the closet.
The paper will explore Jewish identity in the shadow of the Holocaust in Głowiński’s and Matywiecki’s autobiographical writings, including essays, novels and memoirs. The paper will pose questions about the representations of Jewishness and Polishness, and the nature and evolution of themes pertaining to the memory of the Holocaust. Finally, the paper will place these authors within the tradition of autobiographical writings of child Holocaust authors such as Henryk Grynberg and Suzanne Suleiman.