Past Programs & Events

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.

Jun 15, 2014

Four Prominent Jewish Women Graphic Novelists to Present Lecture Series, Workshops at UMass Amherst

AMHERST, Mass – Four outstanding Jewish women graphic novelists are coming to the University of Massachusetts to present talks on their work, and to offer four days of workshops on writing and drawing comics and graphic novels. Leela Corman (Unterzakhin), Sarah Glidden (How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less), Liana Finck (A Bintel Brief, Love and Longing in Old New York), and Israeli cartoonist and comics historian Keren Katz will present talks on their work and a panel on Jewish women graphic novelists on four consecutive days at 7 PM at four venues, from Monday, June 16th through Thursday, June 19th.

In addition, the artists will offer four days of workshops on writing and drawing comics and graphic novels, free and open to high school and college and graduate students and recent graduates who would like to learn more about creating their own comics. The workshops will be from 10 AM to 2 PM, from Monday, June 16th to Thursday, June 19th.

Leela Corman’s most recent graphic novel, Unterzakhn, the story of two sisters in the Jewish immigrant world of New York’s Lower East Side in the 1910s, has been called “haunting and often heartbreaking” (Austin Statesman) and “subtly feminist and thoroughly fascinating” (Sacramento News & Review). Corman’s senior thesis at the Massachusetts College of Art won a Xeric Grant and was published as her first graphic novel. She is a successful illustrator whose work has appeared in books on urban gardening, the New York Times, Bust Magazine, and Tablet. She is also a Middle Eastern dancer.

Sarah Glidden is a graphic novelist, illustrator, and cartoon journalist whose acclaimed book, How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less, recounting her Birthright trip to the Middle East, is an “intrepid if relentless quest for cultural understanding” (L.A. Times) with “bright, delicate watercolors that belie our heroine's unresolved struggle with history and heritage” (Publishers Weekly). A graduate of Boston University, Glidden traveled to Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon and Syria with the journalism collective the Seattle Globalist. Rolling Blackouts, a graphic novel which recounts the story of the journalists and their work reporting on the fallout of the War on Terror, will be published by Drawn & Quarterly in 2015.

Liana Finck’s first graphic novel, A Bintel Brief, Love and Longing in Old New York, based on the advice to Jewish immigrants column in the Yiddish newspaper Forverts, was exhibited last year at the Yiddish Book Center. The New York Times said it’s “like Lost in Translation set to klezmer… an invaluable sooty window onto life on the Lower East Side.” A graduate of New York’s Cooper Union, Finck began cartooning during a year-long Fulbright scholarship in Belgium, won a Six Points Fellowship for Emerging Jewish Artists, and has published cartoons and illustrations in the New Yorker, Tablet, the Forward, and has created book covers for several publishers. 

Keren Katz is an Israeli cartoonist, poet, and comic historian who has spoken on the history of Israeli comics at a variety of colleges and universities and is currently assisting Richard McGuire on the graphic novel Here. She is a graduate of the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Tel Aviv, where she studied with Rutu Modan, and the MFA Illustration as Visual Essay program at the School of Visual Arts. Her illustrations have been published by the New York Times, Brooklyn Rail, Einayim Magazine for Children, Achbar Ha-Ir, Carrier Pigeon, and Seven Stories Press.

A panel discussion on Jewish women and the graphic novel, moderated by Keren Katz, will be held on Wednesday, June 18th in the Cape Cod Lounge, in the Student Union Building on the campus of the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The panel will include both artists and scholars specializing in Jewish women’s studies and graphic novels. The participating artists will sign copies of their graphic novels at the event.

The four artists will offer four days of workshops on writing and drawing comics and graphic novels open to high school, college and graduate students and recent graduates. The workshops will be from 10 AM to 2 PM, from Monday, June 16th to Thursday, June 19th, and all will be held at the Institute for Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, 758 N Pleasant St. at Governors Dr., in Amherst, (413) 835-0221, Art supplies will be provided, and no previous experience in comics is required. Any student who is interested in this artistic medium is welcome, and students may attend any or all of the workshops. To register, email the chair of the organizing committee for the event @ nccouch@gmailcom.

As a prelude to the Jewish Women’s Graphic Novel Seminar and Workshop Series, the Yiddish Book Center will host an opening lecture by N. C. Christopher Couch, Visiting Posen Professor of Jewish Secular Culture, Department of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies, University of Massachusetts Amherst on Sunday evening, June 15th, at 7 PM entitled “The Jewish Tradition in American Comic Art.” 

These events, sponsored by the Posen Foundation for the Study of Jewish Secularism; the Department of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies; the Institute for Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies; the Department of Art, Architecture, and Art History; the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures; and the Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, at the University of Massachusetts Amherst are free, open to the public and wheelchair accessible.  For more information, email or call 347-206-8974.