Memories of the Shoah: Narrative Forms and Cultural Discourse in East-Central, South-Eastern, and Eastern Europe

Stefania Ragaù Announcement
Subject Fields
Eastern Europe History / Studies, Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies, Immigration & Migration History / Studies, Jewish History / Studies, Women's & Gender History / Studies


Memories of the Shoah: Narrative Forms and Cultural Discourse in East-Central, South-Eastern, and Eastern Europe

Padua/Venice, May 11 - 12, 2023


The seminar Uz. The Shoah and Central-eastern Europe (DISLL, University of Padua) is pleased to announce the International Conference Memories of the Shoah: Narrative Forms and Cultural Discourse in East-Central, South-Eastern, and Eastern Europe.

The conference focuses on investigating cultural productions (literature, cinema, comics, etc.) dealing with the memory of the Shoah in the geo-political-cultural area of East-Central, South-Eastern and Eastern Europe, with the aim of strengthening pluralistic, interdisciplinary and transnational approaches. Our starting point is the following: the Shoah-related cultural products stemming from East-Central, South-Eastern and Eastern Europe are hardly ever framed in the specific cultural context that produced them, but rather approached through a Western interpretative paradigm. By “Western” we hereby refer to the development of memories of the Shoah that started in the 1960s and were intimately linked to the dynamics of the Cold War, and which are widely shared, albeit with due differences, in the Western European sphere (e.g., the fact that the elimination took place in concentration camps and that they were located outside national territories), as well as in North America. 

Nonetheless, the Shoah took very different forms, resulting from multiple factors: the different social context in which the Jewish communities were embedded (Dreifuss, Druck 2017; Grill 2018); as well as from the racial policies and practices implemented by the Nazis against the “Slavic” nations and the non-German population (cf. Nichols 2019; Connelly 1999; Majer 2014); and also resulting from the different status (e.g. the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, or Hungary allied with the Third Reich) that poses different co-responsibilities and difficulties (cf. e.g., Laczó 2015; Babeș-Fruchter, Bărbulescu 2021; or again the issue of the “Double Genocide”; cf. Mertes 2020).

We thereby identified four heterogeneous perspectives through which such complexities of Holocaust memories in East-Central, South-Eastern and Eastern Europe can be explored: 

  • Shoah and Multimedia

  • The “Other” Subject

  • The Languages of Trauma from a transgenerational perspective

  • Shoah and Socialist Realism

Contributions from a comparative perspective are welcome in order to integrate the East-Central, South-Eastern and Eastern perspective into European and global Shoah research. The comparative approach is also meant to be a tool to foster dialogue within East-Central, South-Eastern and Eastern Europe, where, with regard to the Shoah, we find an extremely rich and nuanced research, but often limited to single national realities.

Participants will have the opportunity to publish their contributions, upon peer reviewing, in the new collection Uz. Shoah and Eastern Europe by Savaria University Press. 


Please submit your proposal (300 char.) and a short bio to:

Deadline: 18 December 2022.

The Scientific Committee will notify the outcome of the proposal evaluation by 31 January 2023.

Languages: English – Italian


More detailed information about the conference theme and the call for paper here:

Scientific Committee: Tiziana D’Amico (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice); Eva Filová (Academy of Fine Arts and Design of Bratislava); Cinzia Franchi (University of Padua); Stefania Ragaù (Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa); Gianluca Volpi (University of Udine)

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