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Talking about Jewish Past in the Turbulent Present: International Case Studies

Mon, December 17, 10:30am to 12:00pm, Seaport Hotel & World Trade Center, Waterfront 1 Ballroom

Session Submission Type: Panel Session

Session Sponsor: Leo Baeck Institute


This panel shares the experience of two projects — “1938Projekt” and "Estranged: March '68 and Its Aftermath". Each presentation aims to encourage a broader discussion about changing mnemonic practices. Doing so, the panelists attempt to show the impact of digital and public humanities on transnational cultures and politics of memory, as well as the generational shift and the rise of nationalisms. This panel claims, that with the memory of the Holocaust in 1968 and the inconceivability of the Holocaust in 1938 as stark reminders of the uncertainty of the present, a young generation of digital natives is confronted with their parents’ and grandparents’ generations’ trauma of history as well as a current global refugee crisis far larger than in those fateful years. As the experience of recent years proves, scholars from various fields, like history, sociology, ethnography etc. have shown increased interest in everyday life, micro-history, digital media, and innovative ways to engage the public about Jewish culture and history as exemplified in these exhibition projects. This paradigm shift includes also interests in the shaping and reshaping of social memory, in particular – framing commemorations of decades before and after the war. To better understand and present the changing narrative of the events eighty and respectively fifty years later, this panel attempts to answer questions, like: what critical potential carry these new trends for global audiences whose demographics are rapidly changing? How the new methodologies shift the accents in the narratives about the past? What benefits bring the new actors in to engage with the historical narrative?

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