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Holocaust Remembrance in Australia: Gender, Memory and Identity between the Local and the Transnational

Andrews, Susan

Description

This thesis examines the cultural politics of contemporary Holocaust remembrance in Australia and how meanings about gender, memory and identity and the Holocaust are produced through different representational sites and practices. This study is an intervention in and a contribution to the interdisciplinary field of Holocaust studies. I develop analyses using approaches that draw on feminist cultural theory, gender studies and memory studies. These analyses take account of the local...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorAndrews, Susan
dc.date.accessioned2011-03-01T05:32:41Z
dc.date.available2011-03-01T05:32:41Z
dc.date.copyright2007-08
dc.identifier.otherb23517438
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/6968
dc.description.abstractThis thesis examines the cultural politics of contemporary Holocaust remembrance in Australia and how meanings about gender, memory and identity and the Holocaust are produced through different representational sites and practices. This study is an intervention in and a contribution to the interdisciplinary field of Holocaust studies. I develop analyses using approaches that draw on feminist cultural theory, gender studies and memory studies. These analyses take account of the local particularities of Holocaust memory in Australia, while showing that at the same time it reproduces and recirculates a dominant transnational Holocaust memory discourse. Silences and the politics of unspeakability are central themes of this thesis. It was my late mother's silence about her history in Nazi Germany and exile to Australia, and a theoretical silence about gender in Holocaust studies more broadly, that initially engaged me in this study. ¶ I am interested in the relationships between personal and public memory and their interconnections as they contribute to cultural memory of the Holocaust. In my initial case study, the Sydney Jewish Museum, I discuss the museum as a multi-textual discursive space, one which incorporates personal memory of survivors as integral to its memorial project. My second case study involves a close reading of the role of survivor guides as embodied witnesses in the museum space where their gendered performances are framed by, and provide dissonances to, its universalised Holocaust narrative. I present three further cases studies as counterpoints to the Holocaust narrative produced in the Sydney Jewish Museum, where I argue that the universalised Holocaust narrative does not allow for dialogic or discursive spaces where such unsettling stories can be told or heard. First I analyse an Australian documentary film, The Mascot, which represents the story of an Australian man who was a child survivor from Belarus and whose memories were contested when he attempted to reclaim an authentic Jewish identity connected to his Holocaust experiences. ¶ In the final two cases studies I demonstrate the value of subjective, embodied personal approaches to analysing Holocaust memory and its effects. Here I draw on my mother's story. First in the local context I narrate a necessarily fragmented account of her exile to Australia and I undertake memory work to map out some of her history as a Jewish Australian woman and the social landscapes of her political activism. In the final chapter I reconnect my mother's story from Australia to her childhood city, Berlin where I undertake a personal reading of one particular Holocaust counter-memorial in Berlin-Schoneberg. ¶ Despite the power of the universalised Holocaust memory discourse, these case studies illustrate the diverse particularities of experiences of the Holocaust in local and transnational contexts. An analysis of the nuances and complexities of Holocaust remembrance that takes account of such particularities, and that is also gendered, can offer valuable insights into the machinations of the genocide and how it is variously remembered in the present through mourning as well as political and historical inquiry.
dc.format.extent1 vol.
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.language.isoen_AU
dc.publisherCanberra, ACT : The Australian National University
dc.rightsAuthor retains copyright
dc.subjectHolocaust remembrance
dc.subjectAustralia
dc.subjectgender
dc.subjectmemory
dc.subjectidentity
dc.subjectlocal and transnational
dc.subjectpersonal silences and unspeakability
dc.titleHolocaust Remembrance in Australia: Gender, Memory and Identity between the Local and the Transnational
dc.typeThesis (PhD)
local.contributor.institutionThe Australian National University
dcterms.valid2007
local.description.refereedYes
local.type.degreeDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
dc.date.issued2007
local.type.statusMetadata only
local.contributor.affiliationSchool of Humanities and the Arts, ANU College of Arts & Social Sciences
local.request.emailrepository.admin@anu.edu.au
local.request.nameDigital Theses
local.identifier.doi10.25911/5d5147911f89d
dcterms.accessRightsRestricted Access
dc.provenanceDigitised copy was removed from Open Research at authors request on 23/03/2010 (see ERMS6105602). Digitised Copy is archived at ERMS6110208.
local.mintdoimint
CollectionsRestricted Theses

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