The conveners of “The Nazi Legacy: Reconstruction Efforts and Memory Projects since 1945” invite applicants to apply to enroll in our seminar at the German Studies Association Conference from October 1-4, 2020 in Washington DC.
Over the last several decades, colleagues in Europe, the UK, and North America have produced a rich and varied body of scholarship concerning recovery and remembering after Nazism. Their approaches have included studies on judicial-administrative dimensions of denazification and (re)establishment of democratic institutions, the experience of POWs, tensions between traditional gender roles and new possibilities for women, immigration and ethnicity, cultural critique, innovation in the arts, the evolution of memory culture across generations, and examination of different aspects of everyday life.
This trans-disciplinary seminar provides a setting in which to build on these themes, and to interrogate the spaces in between them. We welcome scholars at all professional levels and in all disciplines working on recovery, reorientation, and memory in Germany, Austria, or Nazi-occupied areas after 1945. Of particular interest are projects that use multidisciplinary approaches and challenge traditional interpretations. Seminar discussion will revolve around three common themes: “political cleansing”; “reshaping society after fascism”; and “memory and forgetting.” Through shared readings and discussion of ongoing or newly initiated projects, seminar participants will explore the complex, often fraught relationship between punitive vs rehabilitative actions, collective vs individual accountability, and private vs. public expression or concealment. We will also consider political, economic, social, cultural, and emotional perspectives on legacies of Nazi dictatorship and wartime occupation. Possible topics include the function/effects of denazification; law and justice; reeducation; guilt/accountability; economic development; cultural forms; memory culture; race; gender and sexuality.
The seminar will employ discrete daily themes—“political cleansing”; “reshaping society after fascism”; “memory/forgetting”—to explore a common reading, assigned beforehand, followed by short work-in-progress presentations by participants. Sessions will conclude with feedback on methods and sources.