Events after the Holocaust: Comparative studies in traumatic realism – literature, visual arts, theory (Wydarzenia po Zagładzie. Studia porównawcze nad realizmem traumatycznym - literatura, sztuki, teoria)


Katarzyna Bojarska
NCN grant (UMO-2011/03/N/HS2/02801)
for years 2012-2014

The aim of the project entitled Events after the Holocaust: Comparative studies in traumatic realism – literature, visual arts, theory  was an critical analysis on the basis of several examples of the processes of transformation of artistic, theoretical as well as critical discourses in relation to the representation of historical events in the second half of the 20th and in the 21st centuries. The researcher has been mostly interested in recreating the moment when the paradigm of the representation of the historical event as trauma is being formed and when the Holocaust becomes the paradigmatic Modernist event. Owing to her in-depth analysis and the choice of case studies she has managed to transgress the paradigm of the Holocaust studies and to offer a reflection on its changes and consequences. She provides an intriguing constellation of interpretations and ideas which prove appropriate for the issues under discussion. Her claim is the necessity for working out alternative critical modes of artistic representation of history. The innovative research method applied includes a comparative study of visual and verbal representations. The combination is determined by the conviction that in the context of (traumatic) historical experience of the second half of the 20th century and later on, it is not possible to think these two contexts separately. The work of literature/art/comic art in of interest here mostly as a "theoretical object" and not as an illustration of theory. She draws on numerous theoretical inspirations, combining languages of various fields and models of knowledge production in the humanities. She reuses these concepts and figures which can prove crucial for the rethinking both the concept of history, historical understanding as well as the reading of visual-verbal constellations. Beside conference papers, articles, and translations, the outcome of the project was a book entitled Events after the Even: Białoszewski, Richter, Spiegelman, published in the “Nowa Humanistyka" series of the IBL PAN publishing house.

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