The Era of the Witness

Author: Annette Wieviorka

Publisher: Cornell University Press

ISBN: 0801473160

Category: History

Page: 168

View: 611

What is the role of the survivor testimony in Holocaust remembrance? In this book, a concise, rigorously argued, and provocative work of cultural and intellectual history, the author seeks to answer this surpassingly complex question.
Witness in the Era of Mass Incarceration

Author: Doran Larson

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 9781611479836

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 196

View: 586

This book places prison witness at the center of discussions of the human experience of law and order, and of the nature of the rights-bearing person. Readings of canonical and contemporary writers facing incarceration yield abiding literary tropes that chart the path from institutional abjection toward the minimal threshold of personhood.
The Witness as Object

Author: Steffi de Jong

Publisher: Berghahn Books

ISBN: 9781785336430

Category: Art

Page: 280

View: 343

In recent years, historical witnessing has emerged as a category of "museum object." Audiovisual recordings of interviews with individuals remembering events of historical importance are now integral to the collections and research activities of museums. They have also become important components in narrative and exhibition design strategies. With a focus on Holocaust museums, this study scrutinizes for the first time the new global phenomenon of the "musealization" of the witness to history, exploring the processes, prerequisites, and consequences of the transformation of video testimonies into exhibits.
The Care of the Witness

Author: Michal Givoni

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9781108107969

Category: History


View: 900

During the twentieth century, witnessing grew to be not just a widespread solution for coping with political atrocities but also an intricate problem. As the personal experience of victims, soldiers, and aid workers acquired unparalleled authority as a source of moral and political truth, the capacity to generate adequate testimonies based on this experience was repeatedly called into question. Michal Givoni's book follows the trail of the problems, torments, and crises that became commingled with witnessing to genocide, disaster, and war over the course of the twentieth century. By juxtaposing episodes of reflexive witnessing to the Great War, the Jewish Holocaust, and third world emergencies, The Care of the Witness explores the shifting roles and responsibilities of witnesses in history and the contribution that the troubles of witnessing made to the ethical consolidation of the witness as the leading figure of nongovernmental politics.
Witnessing Unbound

Author: Henri Lustiger Thaler

Publisher: Wayne State University Press

ISBN: 9780814343029

Category: History

Page: 266

View: 536

Primary witnessing, in its original forms—from survivor and bystander testimonies, to memoirs and diaries—inform our cultural understanding of the multiple experiences of the Holocaust. Henri Lustiger Thaler and Habbo Knoch look at many of these expressions of primary witnessing in Witnessing Unbound: Holocaust Representation and the Origins of Memory, which is particularly relevant today with the hastening decline of the Holocaust survivor demographic and the cultural spaces for representation it leaves in its wake, in addition to the inevitable and cyclical search for generational relevancy, siphoned through acts of memory. The essays in Witnessing Unbound are written by some of the leading figures on the theme of witnessing as well as scholars exploring new primary sources of knowledge about the Holocaust and genocide. These include a focus on the victims: the perished and survivors whose discursive worlds are captured in testimonies, diaries, and memoirs; the witnessing of peasant bystanders to the terror; historical religious writing by rabbis during and after the war as a proto memoir for destroyed communities, and the archive as a solitary witness, a constructed memory in the aftermath of a genocide. The experiences showcased and analyzed within this memorializing focus introduce previously unknown voices, and end with reflections on the Belzec Memorial and Museum. One survivor moves hearts with the simple insight, “I died in Auschwitz, but no one knows [sees] it.” In counterpoint is a court case with SS General Karl Wolff, who has conveniently forgotten his crimes during the Holocaust. Original experience and its reimagination within contemporary frameworks make sense of an event that continues to adapt and change metaphorically and globally. As one of the contributors writes: “In my mind, the ‘era of the witness’ begins when the historical narrative consists of first-person accounts.” Witnessing Unbound augers in the near completion of that defining era, by introducing a collection of diverse reflections and mediations on witnessing and memory. A must-read for the further understanding of the Holocaust, its cruel reality, and its afterdeath.
Reluctant Witnesses

Author: Arlene Stein

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 9780199733583

Category: History

Page: 242

View: 247

For most of the postwar period, the destruction of European Jewry was not a salient part of American Jewish life, and was generally seen as irrelevant to non-Jewish Americans. Survivors and their families tended to keep to themselves, forming their own organizations, or they did their best to block out the past. Today, in contrast, the Holocaust is the subject of documentaries and Hollywood films, and is widely recognized as a universal moral touchstone. Reluctant Witnesses mixes memoir, history, and social analysis to tell the story of the rise of Holocaust consciousness in the United States from the perspective of survivors and their descendants. The public reckoning with the Holocaust, the book argues, was due to more than the passage of time. It took the coming of age of the "second generation" -- who reached adulthood during the rise of feminism, the ethnic revival, and therapeutic culture -- for survivors' families to reclaim their hidden histories. Inspired by the changed status of the victim in American society, the second generation coaxed their parents to share their losses with them, transforming private pains into public stories. Reluctant Witnesses documents how a group of people who had previously been unrecognized and misunderstood managed to find its voice. It tells this story in relation to the changing status of trauma and victimhood in American culture more generally. At a time when a sense of Holocaust fatigue seems to be setting in, and when the remaining survivors are at the end of their lives, it offers a reminder that the ability to speak openly about traumatic experiences had to be struggled for. By confronting traumatic memories and catastrophic histories, the book argues, we can make our world mean something beyond ourselves.
The Moral Witness

Author: Carolyn J. Dean

Publisher: Cornell University Press

ISBN: 9781501735080

Category: History

Page: 198

View: 296

The Moral Witness is the first cultural history of the "witness to genocide" in the West. Carolyn J. Dean shows how the witness became a protagonist of twentieth-century moral culture by tracing the emergence of this figure in courtroom battles from the 1920s to the 1960s—covering the Armenian genocide, the Ukrainian pogroms, the Soviet Gulag, and the trial of Adolf Eichmann. In these trials, witness testimonies differentiated the crime of genocide from war crimes and began to form our understanding of modern political and cultural murder. By the turn of the twentieth century, the "witness to genocide" became a pervasive icon of suffering humanity and a symbol of western moral conscience. Dean sheds new light on the recent global focus on survivors' trauma. Only by placing the moral witness in a longer historical trajectory, she demonstrates, can we understand how the stories we tell about survivor testimony have shaped both our past and contemporary moral culture.
Testimony/Bearing Witness

Author: Sybille Krämer

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 9781783489770

Category: Philosophy

Page: 336

View: 252

Testimony/Bearing Witness establishes a dialogue between the different approaches to testimony in epistemology, historiography, law, art, media studies and psychiatry.
Museums and the Act of Witnessing

Author: Ross J. Wilson

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781000463293

Category: Art

Page: 194

View: 111

Museums and the Act of Witnessing examines how representations of traumatic histories and the legacies of the twentieth century in museums and heritage sites across the world shape political, social and cultural identities. Drawing on an interdisciplinary analysis of a variety of museum exhibitions around the globe, the book demonstrates how the narrative of ‘witnessing’ has shaped representation of war, genocide, repression and violence. Revealing that this form of presentation is inherently Western in its origins and nature, Wilson goes on to argue that witnessing the past is to colonise the future, as we project a certain view of the events of the past onto the present. Detailing the character, content and meanings of representation that focus on the traumatic events of the twentieth century, the book demonstrates the way in which visitors are cast as ‘witnesses’ and questions what the true purpose of witnessing really is. Museums and the Act of Witnessing draws attention to the fact that we have inherited a distinct, and often limited, mode of seeing the past and considers how we can more effectively engage with the past in the present. The book will be of interest to academics and students engaged in the study of museums, history, sociology, conflict, politics and memory.

Author: Susan Schuppli

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 9780262357203

Category: Photography

Page: 392

View: 703

The evidential role of matter—when media records trace evidence of violence—explored through a series of cases drawn from Kosovo, Japan, Vietnam, and elsewhere. In this book, Susan Schuppli introduces a new operative concept: material witness, an exploration of the evidential role of matter as both registering external events and exposing the practices and procedures that enable matter to bear witness. Organized in the format of a trial, Material Witness moves through a series of cases that provide insight into the ways in which materials become contested agents of dispute around which stake holders gather. These cases include an extraordinary videotape documenting the massacre at Izbica, Kosovo, used as war crimes evidence against Slobodan Milošević; the telephonic transmission of an iconic photograph of a South Vietnamese girl fleeing an accidental napalm attack; radioactive contamination discovered in Canada's coastal waters five years after the accident at Fukushima Daiichi; and the ecological media or “disaster film” produced by the Deep Water Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Each highlights the degree to which a rearrangement of matter exposes the contingency of witnessing, raising questions about what can be known in relationship to that which is seen or sensed, about who or what is able to bestow meaning onto things, and about whose stories will be heeded or dismissed. An artist-researcher, Schuppli offers an analysis that merges her creative sensibility with a forensic imagination rich in technical detail. Her goal is to relink the material world and its affordances with the aesthetic, the juridical, and the political.
Contested Selves

Author: Katja Herges

Publisher: Boydell & Brewer

ISBN: 9781640141056

Category: History

Page: 280

View: 223

Investigates the field of German life writing, from Rahel Levin Varnhagen around 1800 to Carmen Sylva a century later, from Döblin, Becher, women's WWII diaries, German-Jewish memoirs, and East German women's interview literatureto the autofiction of Lena Gorelik.