webinar register page

Webinar banner
CJS Research Webinar: Transcultural Dynamics in Memory Literature of Japanese- and Lithuanian-speaking Prisoners of War and Political Prisoners in the Soviet Union
Gunde Dauksyte (Heidelberg University)

About the Talk:
The study of internment in the Soviet Union and its commemoration is fragmented by national and disciplinary boundaries that limit the types of questions asked and the types of answers that can be given. However, a look at the history of Soviet camps suggests that they were not only places of punishment and suffering but also contact zones with potential for otherwise impossible encounters. The vast testimonial literature about the internment in the Soviet Union offers glimpses into processes of transculturation in the harsh environment of the camps. The fragmented nature of the field, however, obscures the connections described in primary literature and the similarities in how the internment is remembered across linguistic divisions.

In this project, I look at reports and memoirs about Soviet internment camps by Japanese prisoners of war, Lithuanian political prisoners and deportees, and other former internees whose experiences have been translated into English to answer the question how transcultural dynamics are represented in this vast and multilingual body of literature. I aim to demonstrate that analyzing camp memoirs primarily in nationally bound contexts has overlooked self-representations of identity questioning, alienation among compatriots, and commonality of experience across nationalities. By taking an interdisciplinary approach that combines history, memory and literary studies this project will shed new light on the study of camp memory by shifting the focus from how memory pertains to national identity to how memory of entangled experiences can help us rethink nationally bound histories and identities.

Nov 24, 2022 01:00 PM in London

Webinar is over, you cannot register now. If you have any questions, please contact Webinar host: .