Suzanne R. and Dr. Lawrence M. Fishman Scholar-in-Residence

Event information

Suzanne R. and Dr. Lawrence M. Fishman Scholar-in-Residence
Dr. Sara R. Horowitz, York University

Friday, February 8, 11AM, FIU MMC room TBA

“What We Learn, At Last: Sexual Abuse, Sexual Violence and Sexuality in Deferred Holocaust Autobiographies and Testimonies”

Deferred and belated memory narratives of the Shoah enrich and complicate our understanding of how people experienced, contended with, and recollected their experiences in the Nazi genocide. The stories survivors eventually tell—publicly, privately, cryptically or directly—sometimes contain revelations about delicate and sensitive issues that survivors did not feel free to share earlier. Particularly for women who were children or teenagers during the Shoah—but also for some men—topics such as sexual barter, sexual experimentation, and sexual abuse emerge. Their stories disturb us and challenge us as listeners. How do survivors give shape to narratives of sexual encounters? Drawing largely on memoirs and testimonies, Dr. Horowitz understands these narratives as a negotiation between past and present, between private memory and later audiences. In thinking about these difficult narratives, Dr. Horowitz complicates such categories as abuse, agency, coercion, and consent, and examines first-hand accounts about sexuality as attempts to engage, deflect, shape and resist interpretation and judgment.

Sunday, February 10, 3PM, JMOF-FIU

“Holocaust Shadows on the City of Lights”

Between the two World Wars, Paris was a magnet for eastern European Jews fleeing oppression and attracted by its promise of equality. But these “foreign Jews”—immigrants and their children—were the most vulnerable during the Nazi occupation of Paris and the ensuing round-ups and deportations. After World War II, the public conversation about the evils of the war rarely acknowledged Jewish victimization. But urban space remembers. Post-war Jewish writing—by both native Parisians and war refugees—walks their readers through the city’s streets and neighborhoods. In their writing, the cityscape itself bears witness to the absent Jews, and what happened to them. Join Dr. Horowitz as she shares her latest research on Jewish refugees and residents of Paris—including those who survived in hiding—writing in and about the city of lights immediately after World War II, exploring themes of absence, mourning, home and displacement in the aftermath of the Shoah.

Sara R. Horowitz is Professor of Comparative Literature and Humanities and former Director of the Israel and Golda Koschitzky Centre for Jewish Studies at York University in Toronto. She is the author of Voicing the Void: Muteness and Memory in Holocaust Fiction, which received the Choice Award for Outstanding Academic Book, and served the senior founding editor of the Azrieli Series of Holocaust Memoirs - Canada (Series 1 and 2). She is the editor of Lessons and Legacies of the Holocaust Volume X : Back to the Sources (2012), and co-editor of Hans Günther Adler: Life, Literature, Legacy (2016) which received the Canadian Jewish Literary Award, and of Encounter with Appelfeld, and other books. In addition, she is founding co-editor of the journal KEREM: A Journal of Creative Explorations in Judaism. She served as editor for Literature for The Cambridge Dictionary of Judaism and Jewish Culture (ed. Judith Baskin). She publishes extensively on contemporary Holocaust literature, gender and Holocaust memory survivors, and Jewish North American fiction. She served as president of the Association for Jewish Studies, sits on the Academic Advisory Committee of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Academic Advisory Council of the Holocaust Education Foundation. Currently, she is completing a book called “Gender, Genocide, and Jewish Memory” and another entitled “Jewish Shadows on the City of Lights.”

The Suzanne R. and Dr. Lawrence M. Fishman Scholar-in-Residence program has been established as a multi-year commitment to promote the central agenda of the FIU Holocaust and Genocide Studies Program: to enhance Holocaust and genocide education through outreach to the entire South Florida region. To that end, the Fishman Scholar engages the community annually with lectures at the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU, on campus, and at a local Jewish day school.