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Bestselling novels such as Jonathan Safran Foer’s Everything is Illuminated (2002, film adaptation 2005), Jonathan Littell’s Les Bienveillantes (2006, The Kindly Ones, 2009) and Katja Petrowskaja’s Vielleicht Esther (2014, Maybe Esther, 2018) have increased public and scholarly discussion of Holocaust mass shootings and their remembrance, however, literary, cinematic and artistic depictions of mass shootings have been for the most part belated, schematic and at the margins of works dealing with other themes or other facets of the Holocaust. 

In recent years, popular histories such as Father Patrick Desbois’s The Holocaust by Bullets: A Priest's Journey to Uncover the Truth Behind the Murder of 1.5 Million Jews (2008) and Timothy Snyder’s Bloodlands: Europe Between Stalin and Hitler (2010), have provided a language for speaking about mass shootings that has been taken up by artists and scholars alike. Nevertheless, the idea that mass shooting may form a category of experience, and of representation, that may benefit from separate consideration is only gradually taking hold and theorisation of the specific ethical issues associated with the representation of the so-called ‘Holocaust by bullets’ is likewise only beginning (Sue Vice, 2019).

This conference brings together scholars interested in the literary, cinematic and artistic representation of these events and their legacy in the broadest terms and will showcase research from different disciplines, fostering exchange between scholars working in a variety of national and linguistic contexts whilst also foregrounding the transnational circulation of memory and representation. Discussions will illuminate shared and divergent tendencies in the representation of Holocaust mass shootings, and interrogate the extent to which works dealing with this history benefit from consideration as a discrete corpus. The event concludes with a pedagogy workshop. 

Programme [PDF]

Conference Organiser: Jenny Watson (University of Edinburgh)

All are welcome to attend. Fees cover refreshments as stated in the programme: Standard rate £40; Friends of Germanic Studies at the ILCS £35; Speakers £20; Students £20.

Advance online registration is essential (registrations for the conference include the pedagogy workshop on the second day). 

Image: The Shoah Memorial, Milan. Photo: Ardfern, 2028, via Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0.