More than 1,000 words… Photographs and postmemory – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

More than 1,000 words… Photographs and postmemory

On Tuesday, March 11, the Fisher Center will host Marianne Hirsch, professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University and director of the Institute for Research on Women and Gender, for a discussion titled “The Generation of Postmemory.” Hirsch will examine postmemory and the role of photographs as a medium of memory transmission from one generation to the next.

Focusing on the remembrance of the Holocaust, Hirsch elucidates the generation of postmemory and its reliance on photography as a primary medium of trans-generational transmission of trauma. Postmemory is described as the relationship of the second generation to powerful, often traumatic, experiences that preceded their birth but that were nevertheless transmitted to them so deeply as to seem to constitute memories in their own right.

By identifying tropes that most potently mobilize the work of postmemory, Hirsch examines the role of the family as a space of transmission and the function of gender as an idiom of remembrance.

Her recent projects include the co-authored book, “Ghosts of Home: The Afterlife of a Czernowitz in Jewish Memory and History” with Leo Spitzer and her current venture titled “The Generation of Postmemory: Gender, Visuality and the Holocaust.” She is the co-editor of “Gender and Cultural Memory,” a special issue of Signs and the well-known book “Conflicts in Feminism.”

The lecture will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Geneva Room with a roundtable to follow on Wednesday, March 12 at 8:45 a.m.

This Fisher Center event is co-sponsored by the Genocide Series.