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Public Afternoon Lecture: Erin McGlothlin and Arriving at Auschwitz with Elie Wiesel

March 31, 2023 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

The Wiener Holocaust Library and the Holocaust Research Institute, Royal Holloway University of London, through its Holocaust and Genocide Research Partnership, are delighted to jointly host this programme.

In her discussion of Elie Wiesel’s seminal text Night, Erin McGlothlin will explore a binaristic tension inherent to the contemporary cultural imagination of the Holocaust, which conceives of the experience of the concentration camp and killing center Auschwitz along both historical and mythical lines.  As she will argue, the text’s depiction of the young Eliezer’s arrival at Auschwitz and his proximate encounter with mass death, one of the most powerful scenes in the canon of Holocaust literature, signals the transformation of the narrator’s historical account into a mythical narrative.

Erin McGlothlin is Professor of German and Jewish Studies and Vice Dean of Undergraduate Affairs at Washington University in St. Louis.  Her research and teaching interests are in the areas of fictional and non-fictional works of Holocaust literature and film, including such topics as the generational discourse on the Holocaust, the narrative structure of Holocaust literature and film, perpetrator representation and perpetrator trauma, and ethical questions related to Holocaust representation.  She is the author of Second-Generation Holocaust Literature: Legacies of Survival and Perpetration (2006) and The Mind of the Holocaust Perpetrator in Fiction and Nonfiction (2021). Further, she has co-edited four volumes: After the Digital Divide?: German Aesthetic Theory in the Age of New Digital Media (2009, with Lutz Koepnick), Persistent Legacy: The Holocaust and German Studies (2016, with Jennifer Kapczynski), The Construction of Testimony: Claude Lanzmann’s Shoah and its Outtakes (2020, with Brad Prager and Markus Zisselsberger), and Lessons and Legacies of the Holocaust 15: The Holocaust: Global Perspectives and National Narratives (2023, with Avinoam Patt).

McGlothlin is co-editor (with Brad Prager) of the Camden House book series Dialogue and Disjunction: Studies in Jewish German Literature, Culture, and Thought, and she serves on the editorial boards of Holocaust and Genocide Studies and Nexus: Essays in German Jewish Studies.  Together with Principal Investigator Stuart Taberner (University of Leeds), she serves as Co-Investigator for the project “Rethinking Holocaust Literature: Contexts, Canons, Circulations,” which is funded by a $1.3 million grant from the United Kingdom Arts and Humanities Research Council. As part of this project, McGlothlin and Taberner have been appointed co-editors of The Cambridge History of Holocaust Literature, which will include contributions by over forty international experts in Holocaust representation and which aims to set the path of the scholarly discourse on the literature of the Holocaust for the next twenty-five years.

Chair: Professor Robert Eaglestone, Holocaust Research Institute 

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March 31, 2023
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Category:


The Wiener Holocaust Library
The Wiener Holocaust Library
London, WC1B 5DP United Kingdom

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