Shared Spaces, Shared Memories, Shared Visions: Contemporary Visual Representations of the Second World War in German Cities

REMINDER: Call for Papers

Workshop at Newcastle University

5 November 2015

To mark the 25th anniversary of the reunification of Germany and the subsequent reassessment of commemoration and memorialisation processes connected with the Nazi period, this one-day workshop will bring together experienced and emerging researchers to discuss visual representations of the German wartime experience. The discourse surrounding the roles played by the wider German population has traditionally been informed by a series of binaries, with the opposing positions of ‘victim’ and ‘perpetrator’ constituting a central component of this engagement. With a focus on the ways in which visual media and physical sites within the German cityscape represent the events of World War Two, this workshop aims to move beyond the established victim/perpetrator binary, and explore the complexities that inform this wartime experience.

Possible topics for papers could include:

  • Competing narratives within the cityscape. How do public spaces in German cities explore and explode the victim/perpetrator division?
  • Online extremism: the impact of Neo-Nazi extremists on the victim/perpetrator discussion (such as websites misappropriating the Dresden bombings).
  • The difficulties of simultaneously presenting victim and perpetrator narratives within a shared space, and management strategies for any resulting conflicts
  • The shared onscreen presence of victim and perpetrator narratives in film and television, and how this impacts on our understanding of Germany as one nation.
  • Narratives of German resistance: comparative representations of the Rosenstraße protest in von Trotta’s 2004 film ‘Rosenstrasse’ and the onsite memorial to the event.
  • How narratives of victimhood and perpetration are explored in city architecture such as the Jewish Museum Berlin’s Libeskind building, or the post reunification design of the Reichstag.

Participants are invited to submit an abstract of 150-200 words for 20 minute papers in English, along with a brief bio and short list of relevant publications (where applicable) to by 2 September 2015.

Please note: Postgraduate students are actively encouraged to submit proposals.

For further information, contact or

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