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YU News

Stewart Presents at Sixth World Congress on Polish Studies

Dr. Elizabeth Stewart, associate professor of English at Yeshiva College, presented a paper at the Sixth World Congress on Polish Studies Conference in Krakow, Poland, June 16-18, 2017.  The conference was co-organized by  The Polish Institute of Arts & Sciences of America, The Polska Akademia Umiejętności and The University of Gdańsk.

The paper, titled “Symptomatology and Phenomenology of Memory Post-1977: Baader Meinhof and the ‘Wonderful, Wonderful Times’,” investigates, through German literature and film, various modes of remembering and confronting events in 1977 in West Germany that led to acts of terror and the suicide/murder of the urban guerrilla “Baader Meinhof” group in prison.

Stewart investigates the relationship between German society’s confrontations with the Holocaust (or lack thereof) during the post-war “economic miracle” and the rise of the Baader Meinhof group as representative of the conflicts between German youth and their parent generation (to whom they referred as the “Auschwitz generation”).

She posits that the dysfunctions of German memory regarding the two collective traumas—Nazism/Holocaust and the “German Autumn” in 1977—are related and suggests more study of Oedipal relations that have historically resulted in specific modes of psychic identifications with power and violence in German society as these are represented in literature, film, and philosophy.

In other news, Stewart has been invited to submit an essay  for an upcoming open issue (Vol. 29, 2017) of differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies (edited by Elizabeth Weed and Ellen Rooney at Duke University Press). The essay is titled “Unheimlichkeit in Kinderheim and Stammheim: Memories of Baader Meinhof.”