University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

Department of German and Russian

Special Events

Harry H. Kahn Professor Harry H. Kahn taught in the Department of German and Russian at the University of Vermont from 1948 until his retirement in June 1977. He taught German, and inaugurated the teaching of Hebrew, in the Department of German and Russian.

Special Events at the Department of German and Russian at UVM

The Harry H. Kahn Memorial Lecture is a very special annual event for the Department of German and Russian at the University of Vermont, given in honor and memory of its long-time professor and former chairperson, Harry H. Kahn. The inaugural Harry H. Kahn Memorial Lecture was given in April 1990 by Professor Harry Zohn (Brandeis University) on the topic "A Cultural Tale of Two Cities: The Jews of Vienna and Prague." Four volumes of essays from these lectures (in five-year increments) have been published and are available through the Department of German and Russian, UVM.

The 22nd Harry H. Kahn Memorial Lecture will be given on March 31, 2011, at 4 pm in Memorial Lounge of the Waterman Building, UVM. Professor Irene Kacandes (Dartmouth College) will deliver the lecture on "Truth and Consequences: Issues in Holocaust Family Memoir."

"Truth and Consequences:  Issues in Holocaust Family Memoir": In this talk, Irene Kacandes proposes the term "Holocaust family memoir" to describe the numerous autobiographical books that have been appearing in recent decades by children of Holocaust survivors like Art Spiegelman's Maus, Helen Epstein's Where She Came From, Lisa Appignanesi's Losing the Dead, and Helen Fremont's After Long Silence.  These memoirs narrate what happened to family members in the Shoah and share the story of learning that story.  Kacandes documents how such texts stake their claim to recount true history, albeit personal history.  She concludes by arguing against critics of second generation literature, and for the ethical and historical value of Holocaust family memoirs.  Soon they will provide our only new sources for understanding something of the fullness of Holocaust survivors' experiences.

Irene Kacandes is Professor of German Studies and Comparative Literature at Dartmouth College, where she also teaches in Jewish Studies and Women and Gender Studies.  She currently chairs the German Studies Department.  Kacandes is author of Daddy’s War:  Greek American Stories (U of Nebraska P, 2009) and  Talk Fiction:  Literature and the Talk Explosion (U of Nebraska P, 2001).  She is coeditor of A User’s Guide to German Cultural Studies (U of Michigan P, 1997) and Teaching the Representation of the Holocaust (MLA 2005), as well as of a special issue of Women’s Studies Quarterly on “Witness” (2008).  She has undergraduate and graduate degrees from Harvard University and has also studied at the Free University in Berlin, Germany, and at the Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, Greece. Author of articles on trauma and memory studies, Holocaust studies, German and Italian cultural studies, narrative theory, and feminist linguistic theory, her current research focuses on family memory and the Second World War.  Kacandes is recipient of a Fulbright Full grant, a SONY grant, and a fellowship at the United States Holocaust Museum and Memorial.  She currently hold the Friedman Family Fellowship. Kacandes edits a books series at de Gruyter Verlag in Berlin, Germany and has served in numerous capacities for various  divisions and committees of the Modern Language Association and on the executive committees of the International Society for the Study of Narrative and of the German Studies Association. She resides with her husband, Philippe Carrard, Professor Emeritus of Romance Languages at UVM, in Lebanon, NH.

Last modified January 03 2011 03:55 PM