AMHERST, Mass. - University of Massachusetts Judaic studies department chair and English Professor James Young will appear with renowned graphic novelist Art Spiegelman in "After-Images of the Holocaust: A Conversation with James Young and Art Spiegelman," Tues. Sept. 19 at 6:30 p.m. at the Jewish Museum in New York. The event marks the publication of Young''s latest study of Holocaust art and architecture, At Memory''s Edge: After-Images of the Holocaust in Contemporary Art and Architecture (Yale University Press, 2000).
The event will begin with Young reading excerpts from his new book, which explores the conflicts faced by contemporary artists and architects who attempt to confront the Holocaust in their work. Following the reading, Young will take part in a discussion with Spiegelman, who is considered one of the chief representatives of the post-war generation of Holocaust artists. The two will discuss Spiegelman''s award-winning graphic novel about his experiences as a child of Holocaust survivors, "MAUS," as well as the work of contemporary artists such as David Levinthal and Rachel Whiteread.
Young is a leading authority on Holocaust memorialization, and serves on the board of directors for the Association of Jewish Studies as well as on the international museum boards at Auschwitz and Terezin. His previous books include "The Texture of Memory" (1993), also published by Yale University Press, which won the National Jewish Book Award in 1994. In 1994, he curated "The Art of Memory" at the Jewish Museum in New York, an exhibition that later traveled to Germany. In 1997, he was invited to speak to the Bundestag on Germany''s Holocaust memorial issue and was later appointed to the five-member Findungskommission for Germany''s national Holocaust memorial. The only foreigner and only Jew on the panel, Young was active in guiding the memorial through its successful vote in the Bundestag and ended up as the commission''s spokesperson, often appearing on German television and radio.
In the past six years Young has given nearly 200 public lectures in America, Europe, and Israel on national forms of remembrance, art, and museums. He has written more than a dozen catalogue essays for various artists and architects in this field and has contributed more than 100 articles and reviews to various journals and newspapers, including the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Slate, The Independent (London), Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Berliner Zeitung, and the Jerusalem Post.