Fantasies of Return: The Afterlife of Czernowitz in Jewish Memory – Public Lecture, Marianne Hirsch & Leo Spitzer

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Date(s) - 28/09/2016
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Caulfield Campus, H116, Monash University


Fantasies of Return: The Afterlife of Czernowitz in Jewish Memory

Professor Marianne Hirsch and Professor Leo Spitzer
2016 Dr Jan Randa Visiting Scholars

Wednesday 28 September, 7.30pm
Venue: H1.16, Ground Floor
Bldg H, Monash Caulfield

Czernowitz.Theater Square

This talk seeks to recapture the history and memory of the large Jewish community of the former Habsburg city of Czernowitz (now Cherivtsi in Ukraine), shattered by the Second World War, but also transplanted and recreated in diasporic recollection. It asks about the stakes of return journeys in the imagination of displaced peoples, and examines the role of returnees in the lives of present-day inhabitants of cities that have forgotten their Jewish histories.

MH PHOTOMarianne Hirsch is William Peterfield Trent Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University and Professor in the Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality.  She is former President of the Modern Language Association of America. Hirsch’s work combines feminist theory with memory studies, particularly the transmission of memories of violence across generations.  Her recent books include The Generation of Postmemory: Writing and Visual Culture After the Holocaust (2012), (Spanish edition, 2015), Ghosts of Home: The Afterlife of Czernowitz in Jewish Memory, co-authored with Leo Spitzer (2010), and Rites of Return: Diaspora Poetics and the Politics of Memory, co-edited with Nancy K. Miller (2011).  She is one of the founders of Columbia’s Center for the Study of Social Difference. With Leo Spitzer, she is currently working on a book entitled “School Photos in Liquid Time: Archives of Possibility.”  She is also working on a book on memory studies and practices, “Memory for the Future: Bodies, Sites, Archives, Action.”


Leo Spitzer is the Vernon Professor of History Emeritus at Dartmouth College. A 2014 Research Fellow at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Studies, South Africa, and current Fellow at the Center for the Study of Social Difference, Columbia University, he is the recipient of numerous fellowships, including a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and a National Humanities Center award. He writes on photography, testimony, and Jewish refugee memory and its transmission.


No cost. No prior bookings