Interdisciplinary Conference: Images of Ruptures in Civilisation
20 May 2011
Pictorial representation and ideological interpretation of the Holocaust and the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki are the subject of a conference taking place at Heidelberg University from 26 to 29 May 2011. Scholars from nine countries will be discussing the perception of these two events as reflected in art and journalism in Eastern Europe. The symposium “Images of Ruptures in Civilisation between East and West. The Iconography of Auschwitz and Hiroshima” is hosted by Prof. Dr. Urs Heftrich of Heidelberg University’s Institute of Slavic Studies in conjunction with the Department of Eastern European History.
The aim of the symposium is to examine the iconography and the different ideological interpretations of the Holocaust and the dropping of atomic bombs on Japan in 1945. The speakers will compare how these two topics were treated in socialist Eastern Europe with how they were treated in western and Japanese cultures. Among the topics they will address is the degree to which these two events were associated with one another and what, if any, specifically Eastern European view emerged as a result. “The symposium will cast light on the use made of these two ‘icons’ of mass destruction in Eastern Europe, both of which are seen in the West as a ‘rupture of civilisation’ and the ‘end of an era’,” says Prof. Heftrich. “Contrasting this with the response in the West is not least a contribution to the discourse on a globalisation of the culture of memorialisation.”
The symposium “Images of Ruptures in Civilisation between East and West. The Iconography of Auschwitz and Hiroshima in the Arts and Journalism of Eastern Europe” is part of the programme of events marking the 625th anniversary of Heidelberg University. The three-day conference will take place at the University’s International Science Forum (IWH) and assembles scholars specialising in literary studies, media and art studies, sociology and Eastern European history from Japan, the United States, Canada, Israel, the Czech Republic, Poland, Austria and Germany. For more information, go to www.slav.uni-heidelberg.de/forschung/tagung2.html .
Prof. Dr. Urs Heftrich
Institute of Slavic Studies
phone: +49 6221 542636
Communications and Marketing
phone: +49 6221 542311