- This event has ended.
Marianne Hirsch (Professor of Comparative Literature and Gender Studies, Columbia University)
Leo Spitzer (K. T. Vernon Professor Emeritus, Dartmouth College)
Photographs serve as important media of memory crossing generational and geographical divides. They are both material remnants and haunting reminders that can bring a lost and distant past into the present. But how and what do photographs transmit? How do they signal absence? How do they live in time? Through a close look at several photo-based postmemorial art projects, the speakers will attempt to theorize the liquid time of absence and presence, possibility and repair.
Workshop: Representing Absence: Refugees, Forced Migration, and Aftermath
Absence is a core, but often overlooked, component of the experience of forced displacement. Unlike the willingness to remember the atrocities that drive people from their homes, absence does not wax or wane. Rather, it becomes a foundational aspect of both refugee experience and the societies they flee. How do displaced peoples think about—and sometimes reinvent—the homes they left behind through art, music, theater, and everyday practice? How do the populations that remain experience and confront the absence of displaced populations? What cultural and political landscapes do they form around their negative relief? Finally, what methodologies have scholars, artists, and writers developed to confront archives riddled with the holes and elisions produced by displacement and erasure? Foregrounding such questions, this workshop will investigate the absences produced by forced migration and mass violence together with their long-term consequences.