Past Programs & Events

Nov 4, 2014

July 22nd and the Negotiation of Norwegian Memory of Terror

In this slide lecture, Tor Einar Fagerland, leader of a national research project on the 7/22 terror attacks in Oslo and Utoya, examines how Norway and the Youth Labor Party have worked to remember and rebuild after the unprecedented case of mass murder.

Tor Einar Fagerland is PhD (2006), Associate Professor (2009) and Chair
(2013) at the Department of History at the Norwegian University of Science
and Technology. He has written extensively on the Norwegian culture of
memory, and the handling of painful and ambiguous memories more
specifically. Since 2012 he has been the leader of the research project
"July 22 and the negotiation of Memory" which include renowned international
experts like James E. Young, Edward T. Linenthal and Alice Greenwald. In the
project he address the transition from different forms of semi- and
non-official and temporary commemorations of the terror attacks, and into an
ongoing nation-wide wave of new memorial sites and monuments. Fagerland has
been an advisor for the Art Selection Committee responsible for choosing the
national memorials commemorating the victims and the heroes of July 22, and
he was wrote part of the "Art Plan" for the international memorial
competition. At present he is the leader of an international Advisory Board
guiding the Labor Youth League in their attempt to return to Utøya and in
their search of finding ways of combining memory and new life at their now
scarred island.

On July 22 2011 a thirty-two year-old Norwegian fascist drove into the city
center of Oslo where he placed a car bomb at the government quarter. The
bomb went off at 3:25 pm killing eight people and wounding thirty others
severely. The office of Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg from the Labor Party
was badly damaged, and parts of the governmental quarter are to this day
still inaccessible. Thereafter the terrorist, Anders Behring Breivik, drove
to the tiny of Island Utøya, 38 kilometers outside Oslo. Here the annual
youth camp of the Labor Youth League was taking place, as it had done each
year since 1950. Dressed up as a police officer he was allowed to enter the
camp where he shortly after killed an unarmed police officer, the one person
being in charge of the security on the Island. The next hour the youth camp
was transformed into a nightmare where teenagers in hiding, or on the run,
were systematically tracked down and executed. Most of them were shot in the
head or in the face at close range. From 17.22 to 6:35 pm sixty-nine people,
mostly teenagers were murdered at Utøya. The two youngest victims were
fourteen years old. 

Oct 30, 2014

I Think This Is the Closest to How the Footage Looked

Come see the Sundance Film Festival award-winning film  "I Think This Is the Closest to How the Footage Looked" & meet writer/director Yuval Hameiri


A man with poor means recreates a lost memory of the last day with his mom. Objects come to life in a desperate struggle to produce a single moment that is gone.

Directors: Yuval Hameiri, Michal Vaknin
Screenwriter:  Yuval Hameiri
Cinematographer:  Elina Margolin
Music:  Dan K.dar
Sound Design:  Itay Alter
Sound Recording:  Yiftach Kedem

Yuval Hameiri is a cinema director, theatre artist, and actor who was born in 1987 in Haifa, Israel. He graduated from the theatre department at the WIZO Haifa Academy of Design and Education. Hameiri is a member of Tarbut, a social movement of artists and educators in the community. I Think This Is the Closest to How the Footage Looked is his first film.

Hebrew with English subtitles, 2012, 9 minutes, color, Israel.
2014 Sundance Short Film Jury Award: Non-fiction.

Oct 20, 2014

Inheritance Trouble: Memory, Migration, and the German Past

In this lecture, Michael Rothberg and Yasemin Yildiz ask what it means to "inherit" and take responsibility for a history of genocide in a multicultural society marked by immigration. Rothberg and Yildiz focus in particular on how Germany's postwar labor migration has inflected—and been inflected by—its confrontation with the Holocaust and National Socialism, and introduce a “migrant archive” of engagements by immigrants with the German past. Turning to recent works of literature that bring together migration from Turkey and the history of German perpetration and suffering during the Second World War, Rothberg and Yildiz explore first how a discourse of inheritance can consolidate an ethnically exclusive national identity. Through the example of a transnational, Turkish-language short story about the German past Rothberg and Yildiz then highlight the fragility of transmission in the absence of inheritance, but also suggest that responsiveness to how the past can be reimagined through attention to how we inhabit history.

Michael Rothberg is Professor of English and Head of the Department of English at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he is also Director of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies Initiative. His latest book is Multidirectional Memory: Remembering the Holocaust in the Age of Decolonization (2009), published by Stanford University Press in their “Cultural Memory in the Present” series. He is also the author of Traumatic Realism: The Demands of Holocaust Representation (2000), and has co-edited The Holocaust: Theoretical Readings (2003) and special issues of the journals Criticism, Interventions, Occasion, and Yale French Studies.

Yasemin Yildiz is Associate Professor of German and Conrad Humanities Scholar at the University of Illinois. Prof. Yildiz specializes in twentieth- and twenty-first-century German literature and culture with research interests in literary multilingualism, minority discourses (especially Turkish-German and German-Jewish), transnational studies, and gender studies. Her book Beyond the Mother Tongue: The Postmonolingual Condition, published by Fordham University Press, won the MLA’s 2012 Scaglione Prize for Studies in Germanic Languages and Literatures and received Honorable Mention for the 2014 Laura Shannon Prize in Contemporary European Studies. She spent Fall 2013 as Visiting Associate Professor of German at Harvard University. She is currently working on a co-authored study of immigrants and Holocaust remembrance in contemporary Germany together with Michael Rothberg.

This event is funded by the Max Kade Foundation, German and Scandinavian Studies at UMass, the Institute for Holocaust, Genocide and Memory Studies at UMass, Comparative Literature at UMass, the Department of English at UMass, the Department of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies at UMass, the Department of German at Amherst College, the Department of German Studies at Mount Holyoke College, the Five College Lecture Fund and the Five College Faculty Seminar in German Studies.

Oct 15, 2014

The Holocaust – Is It a Wallpaper Paste?

Moderated by Olga Gershenson, Professor of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies

Director – Mumin Shakirov, Studio “Baktria-Film” Russia, 56 min, 2013.

Last year two student sisters appearing on a Russian TV quiz show gained instant notoriety when asked to define the word ‘Holocaust’. A trip to Auschwitz with journalist and filmmaker Mumin Shakirov dispelled their ignorance, and brought the girls to face the history that is so rarely mentioned in Russia today. Whose fault is it that young Russians do not know anything about the Holocaust? Whose responsibility is it to teach them the history of their own country and of World War II? Shakirov’s new film poses these difficult questions as it documents two naïve young women discovering the difficult subject of the Holocaust and grappling with its lessons.

Co-sponsored by the Institute for Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies, the Department of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies, and the Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies

Oct 7, 2014

Guilt and Punishment: German Civilians, 1946

Stig Dagerman, a twenty-three year old radical Swedish journalist, writes a series of articles from postwar Germany. The articles are later collected in German Autumn – a book that becomes a classic. Lo Dagerman discusses her father and why he wanted to tell this story.

Lo Dagerman is the daughter of Stig Dagerman and actress Anita Björk.  Lo has lived in the United States for more than thirty years. She holds Master Degrees from MIT and JHU, and has most recently worked as a school counselor in the Washington D.C. area, where she lives with her husband Brian Levy. Lo is a driving force in the effort to introduce Stig Dagerman’s writing in the United States.