Jewish Visual History


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Are these films symptoms of wider currents of attitudes towards minorities and religion in Western Post-war societies? Do they reflect on specific national issues in the respective countries? How are these subjects, in post-1945 cinema, also an expression of memory politics and changing attitudes towards the state of Israel?

The conference focussed on American, French, British, German and Israeli films, including biographic films, family histories, and explorations of multi-faith immigrant societies. From a comparative perspective, it also examined how these representations of Judaism differ from Israeli productions – for whom the minority/majority question presents itself rather differently. The international conference explicitly chose the disciplinary perspective of film studies to reflect on the visual and narrative representation of Judaism in Western Post-war film.

For further information on the workshop, please refer to the programme here.


Emotions and Experiences: Photography and Visual German-Jewish History, 1910-1950

Workshop co-organised by the Leo Baeck Institute London, the Lichtenberg Kolleg, University of Goettingen, and the AHRC project ‘Photography as Political Practice in National Socialism’ (University of Nottingham)

Göttingen, Sunday 11 and Monday 12 November 2018

The workshop sought to analyse the role of private German-Jewish photography between 1933 and 1945. By using visual sources and focussing on the subjective emotional responses of German Jews to political developments during this period, it offered a completely new perspective on Jewish reactions to the Nazi Regime.

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Private photographs in particular, frequently collected and arranged in family albums, are a prime medium for documenting a domestic perspective of how individuals situate themselves and their emotions in larger political frameworks and family dynamics. On the pages of such photographic albums, family history and emotions are folded into narratives of dramatically changing German-Jewish lives. With a special focus on reactions to National Socialism, the workshop also searched for continuities and ruptures in German Jewish private photography between 1910 and 1950. A particular emphasis was placed on the inter-medial makeup that characterizes such albums, often composed as scrapbooks containing diary entries, poetry, newspaper clippings and other textual elements alongside the visual material, embedding family history directly in political and cultural currents of the time. In order to reflect on the specificity of photographic sources for this time period, classical German-Jewish ego-documents such as diaries and letters were also examined.

For more information on the workshop, please refer to the programme here.


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