Center for Interdisziplinary Research

Literary Anti-Semitism After Auschwitz?

Date: January 31 - February 02, 2007

Organizers: Klaus-Michael Bogdal (Bielefeld), Klaus Holz (Villigst), Matthias N. Lorenz (Bielefeld)

'Beyond the battlefield of the feature pages' - this was the guiding theme of the conference to which representatives from the fields of sociology, history and literary sciences were invited to meet around the conference table with a view to establishing the agitated debates about-possibly-anti-Semitic coding in literary texts as a serious question in the interdisciplinary research into anti-Semitism. Concentrating on German texts that originate from the period after the holocaust, i.e., when the mass murders of the Jews were already a known fact, even aggravated the explosive power of the question about literary anti-Semitism. So it was all the more important to approach the subject with utmost sensitivity. At the ZiF, however, no bans on incriminating texts were imposed; the main subject as well as the controversial points involved were rather approached step by step.
During the conference, the public was invited to attend on two occasions: first there was the reading of the lyricist Robert Schindel from Vienna, who recited poems and essays concerning the relationship Jewish-Non-Jewish. The reading took place in the university library and was attended by about 120 guests. The conference was concluded by a panel discussion at the ZiF in which Robert Schindel, Wolfgang Benz (Berlin) and Klaus-Michael Bogdal (Bielefeld) took part. Both events were a great success. J.B. Metzler, Stuttgart, is publishing the results of the conference in autumn of this year.

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