113th Annual Conference - Portland, Oregon
Friday, November 6 - Sunday, November 8, 2015

European Testimonies of Political Repression

Session Chair: 
José I. Alvarez Fernandez, Emmanuel College
Session 12: Sunday 12:10-1:40pm
McKenzie (PMCC)


  1. Francie Cate-Arries, The College of William & mary
    I analyze oral testimonies I have recorded with the family members of “the disappeared” in Cádiz province, loved ones who were murdered in 1936 by fascist rebels. My informants began to make their own testimonies public as the remains of their family members were exhumed from mass graves in Cádiz, beginning in 2004. I analyze my informants’ testimonies as discursive repositories of symbolic acts of rebellion
  2. Melanie Murphy, Emmanuel College
    Kertsz and Perel have written a novel and a memoir respectively of coming of age during the Shoah. Jonathan Safran Foer's Everything Is Illuminated tells a third generation story of Ukrainians and Jews who experienced the "Holocaust by Bullets." All three works exist as film and text and tell coming of age stories in the context of genocide.  What is the genocide bildungsroman? How does the medium - film or text - affect the story? What is the value of juxtaposing survivors' stories with a third generation story?
  3. Eva Serfozo, University of Oregon
    I examine how the literary work of Imre Kertész was influenced by being trapped in another oppressive system. Fatelessness narrates the story of a 14 year old Jewish boy, deported to a Nazi concentration camp. Kertész employs a strictly linear time structure to express the unbearability of daily struggles and his teenage protagonist accepts all events “naturally”. Yet, Kertész does not break with the “traditional Holocaust representations” which focus on describing the horrors of the concentration camps and omit talking about previous life.
  4. Petros Vamvakas, Emmanuel College
    As German forces invaded and occupied Greece in 1941, the cosmopolitan traveler and prolific writer Kazantzakis isolated himself on the island of Aegina, escaping the brutality of the war by indulging in metaphysics and beauty. In 2015 as violence increasingly overtakes politics, as the morality and ethos of globalization elicits brutal reactions, Kazantzakis' and humanity's struggles to balance the absurdity of political carnage and the escapism of metaphysics became even more pertinent.
Session Cancelled: