Thursday, February 7, 2013

New Directions Proposal: "Beaming the Dream" Holocaust Memory as Gendered Intergenerational Trauma in a Digital Age

Susan M. George will present "'Beaming the Dream' Holocaust Memory as Gendered Intergenerational Trauma in a Digital Age."

This paper explores the relevance of gendered Holocaust trauma as a cross-generational phenomenon in literature. Utilizing Nava Semel's 2009 hybrid novel "And the Rat Laughed," I explore how her revolutionary work transcends conventional, linear narrativity and the "Holocaust script" in order to transfer an authentic telling of trauma for contemporary audiences. I address the importance of trauma temporality as digital hybridity frameworked by Semel's use of prose, poetry, song, screenplay, blog post, email and even the material body in an attempt to transfer meaning. Semel's work forms a springboard to disproving the  supposed "impossibility" of speaking intergenerational Holocaust trauma. Through this non-linear, hybridized telling, memory repeatedly "reclaims" the body as it is transferred across genres of writing. Through my analysis, I re-evaluate the role of the digital-material body at intersections of silenced and speaking traumatic memory in this
unusual work.  
Susan M. George: I am an MA student in English Studies at ISU focusing on the unexpected uniqueness of women's Modernist literature and culture. I research especially gendered perceptions of the narrated body in time and space and the place of memory, love & trauma in women's literature.

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